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Lessons learned from the Tokyo games isolation hotel experience
  1. J Tod Olin1,2,
  2. Michael Fredericson3,
  3. Cameron Nichol4,
  4. Stuart E Willick5,
  5. Hege Havstad Clemm6,7
  6. Tokyo 2020 Isolation Hotel medical support team
    1. 1Pediatrics and Medicine, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado, USA
    2. 2Sports Medicine, United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
    3. 3Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA
    4. 4Ashford and St. Peters Hospital, Chertsey, Surrey, UK
    5. 5Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Utah Orthopaedic Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
    6. 6Department of Pediatrics, Haukeland Universitetssjukehus, Bergen, Norway
    7. 7Department of Clinical science, Universitetet i Bergen Institutt for indremedisin, Bergen, Norway
    1. Correspondence to Dr J Tod Olin, Pediatrics and Medicine, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado, USA; OlinT{at}

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    Despite the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the Tokyo2020 Organizing Committee (TOGOC), IOC, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and National Olympic and Paralympic Committees (NOC/NPCs) delivered events across 42 venues for over 15 000 athletes from over 200 countries. Athletes lived in congregate housing (Olympic and Paralympic Village) within a metropolis featuring to record SARS-CoV-2 infections and resistance to the Games.1 Across 2 months of operations, over 1 million tests were performed on athletes and staff. There were fewer than 500 confirmed positive results, the majority outside the Athlete’s Village, involving volunteers and contractors. Less than 40 positive tests were detected among athletes.2 3

    While opinions vary on the Games’ impact on Japan,4 5 the infection mitigation strategy was mostly successful. The strategy included: (1) rigorous participant testing prior to and during the event, (2) separation of athletes and entourage from the public, (3) isolation of infected participants, (4) robust contact tracing involving mandatory cell-phone tracking and quarantine measures for close contacts of infected persons and (5) standard mitigation measures such as face masks, social distancing, hygiene protocols and a daily health questionnaire.6

    The human side of isolation

    In addition to lessons regarding infection control, there are important human and mental health lessons to be gained from those with positive SARS-CoV-2 testing. For these participants, the Games’ experience was characterised by a monitored 7–10-day period in a modest hotel with few daily periods for socialisation, no regular access to fresh air and an absence of designated exercise space accompanied by the stress …

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    • Collaborators Tokyo2020 Isolation Hotel medical support team: Dana Benedict, Gemma Harris, Gavin W Jones (Anaesthesia Cape Town (ACT), Cape Town, South Africa), Theresia Lee, Kirk O’Donnell (USA Boxing, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA; Housecall Concierge Medicine, Tampa, Florida, USA), Yeltay Rakhmanov (Department of Biomedical Sciences, Nazarbayev University School of Medicine, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan), Keltoum T Reddani (VidyMed Clinics, Lausanne, Switzerland), Sanka Theekshana Thebuwanaarachchi (Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, Galle, Sri Lanka), Bauyrzhan Toktarbay (Department of Biomedical Sciences, Nazarbayev University of School of Medicine, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan), Sergio MA Toloza (Department of Health Statistics, Ministry of Health, Catamarca, Argentina), Stephanie Tow (Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Divisions of Sports Medicine and Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA; Sports Medicine, Scottish Rite for Children Sports Medicine Center, Dallas, Texas, USA; Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, Children’s Health, Dallas, Texas, USA; USA Paralympics Swimming, United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee), Selvina Uppiah (Mauritius Ministry of Sports and Youth), Chanel Van Vreden (Department of Medicine, Livingstone Hospital, Port Elizabeth, South Africa), Molie Xu (Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Bruce W Carter VA Medical Center, Miami, Florida, USA), Irina Zelenkova (GENUD (Growth, Exercise, Nutrition and Development), University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain).

    • Contributors This manuscript was envisioned by the collective group of authors, including those listed as members of the Tokyo2020 Isolation Hotel medical support team. Dr HHC was responsible for the first draft of the manuscript. Drs JTO, MF, CN and SEW made extensive contributions to the vision, content and revision, and final approval to the manuscript. Other authors, listed as members of the Tokyo2020 Isolation Hotel medical support team, contributed to the design, editing and final approval to the manuscript.

    • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

    • Competing interests None declared.

    • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.