CALGARY — Team Germany has been medically cleared to compete at the 2021 World Women's Curling Championship after two positive COVID-19 tests earlier in the week.
The World Curling Federation made the announcement Thursday night — just before the tournament was to start Friday morning.
The German squad had two positive COVID-19 tests upon arrival in Calgary, leaving the team's playing status uncertain.
But the WCF said in a release that "after an investigation and additional testing — including testing for variants of concern — it has been determined that the individuals from Team Germany who have consistently returned negative COVID-19 results will now be allowed to compete," while the unidentified individuals who tested positive will remain in isolation until medically cleared.
Despite the rules stating a team needs four athletes, Team Germany will compete in the championship with three players, with the situation qualifying as an "extenuating circumstance."
The competing members of Team Germany will undergo rapid testing every morning prior to the first session of the day, followed immediately by a PCR test.
"We have been working closely with Alberta public health officials to ensure that we are able to proceed safely," said Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Yuhao Shi. "We are reassured by the multiple negative results, and we are confident that with enhanced testing and close monitoring, there will be no significant risk to the other competitors."
Germany begins play Friday morning against Russia. The Russian entry will be called RCF at the tournament. The country is serving a two-year World Anti-Doping Agency ban.
Kerri Einarson and her Manitoba-based rink will be representing Canada.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2021.
The Canadian Press