The curling bubble in Calgary has seen some issues over the last while, including a qualification game in the men’s world championships that saw Canadian broadcaster TSN pull out after a player was allowed to compete after testing positive for COVID-19, then later testing negative. The latest one came Sunday during the women’s world championships, where games went on (albeit with a delay) without broadcasts after four members of the TSN/CTV broadcast staff tested positive for COVID-19. Here’s more on that from Devin Heroux of CBC:
There have been four confirmed positive cases. The medical officials are currently carrying out their investigation that incorporates additional testing, including testing for variants of concern, as well as contact tracing.
…A source inside the broadcast bubble told CBC Sports after Saturday night’s broadcast they were instructed to immediately isolate in their rooms. They continue to isolate.
Broadcasting from the world championship will be on hold throughout Sunday meaning none of the games will be televised or streamed. The games will also not be televised on Monday or Tuesday morning.
As a story from The Canadian Press added, this led to games being delayed Sunday after a deep clean of the arena:
The staffers are staying in a different hotel than athletes and competition officials, who were cleared to return after a deep clean of the WinSport Arena on Sunday morning, which forced the postponement of the seventh round-robin draw.
…The WCF said that all scheduled testing for athletes and competition officials returned negative results. The start of the afternoon draw was pushed back a half hour to a 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time start and the evening draw was bumped 30 minutes later to a 9:30 p.m. ET start.
And as Postmedia’s Ted Wyman wrote, this has led to some questions about the integrity of the bubble from competitors:
Others were starting to wonder if the bubble, which has worked so well since opening for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in late February, has become “soft,” with athletes and crews coming in and out for the recent Grand Slams and this World Curling Federation event.
“We’re playing with fire,” said one person, who didn’t want to be identified.
So none of that looks particularly great for this event, or for its approach. And it’s certainly interesting to have a major sports event proceeding without regular broadcasts.