Figure Skating Championships Still Defined As Omicron Spreads (VIDEO)
US Figure Skating told Newsy it is monitoring the situation as the Omicron variant leads to a spate of cases.
The 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships begin Jan. 3, and Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena is set to host 25 years after its last edition.
This is the final qualifying event before selecting the US Olympic figure skating team to represent the US team at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.
More than 170 athletes are expected.
The event is still ongoing even as COVID cases explode in the United States, driven by the Omicron variant. The CDC recommends avoiding crowds, especially indoors.
US Figure Skating told Newsy they are monitoring the situation.
“Omicron is a real threat,” said Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “Omicron is much more transmissible, and it is capable of infecting people who have been vaccinated or who have already been infected.”
COVID protocols are also lacking. The arena has not required proof of vaccination since November, but does require masks, just like US figure skating.
As for athletes, there are no COVID protocols, and there will be no “bubble” where athletes can compete away from the general public.
Those traveling to the Winter Olympics in China will have to follow strict guidelines: self-quarantine for three weeks before the games if they are not vaccinated, and get tested for COVID-19 daily.
Organizers of the Beijing Winter Olympics “strongly suggest” that foreign athletes get vaccinated against COVID-19 before participating in the games.
China continues to have some of the world’s toughest anti-virus travel restrictions, and overseas spectators will not be allowed to attend the games.