Dutch swimmer Femke Heemskerk has tested positive for the coronavirus and is under self-quarantine, she announced on Instagram on Sunday. Heemskerk is one of at least two participants in the 2020 International Swimming League season to have tested positive so far as part of the mandatory pre-meet screening process, along with an unnamed member of the Aqua Centurions club.
Heemskerk says that she is not experiencing any symptoms. She says that she has been “so careful” so the positive test was a “shock.”
The positive tests come as swimmers around the world depart from their home training bases for Budapest, with racing scheduled to begin on Friday, October 16.
- Read more about the testing protocol here.
Under the ISL testing protocols, foreign participants were required to undergo 2 tests for the novel coronavirus, at least 48 hours apart, within 5 days of their departure for Budapest.
It is one of these pre-departure tests that showed evidence of the novel coronavirus for Heemskerk, who trains in her native Netherlands.
According to ISL rules, Heemskerk should now be subjected to 2 follow-up tests, at least 48 hours apart, to “rule out false positive results.” If those tests come back positive, and under presumption that Heemskerk continues to have no or mild symptoms, she will be required to quarantine for 14 days before joining her team in the bubble.
At that point, if she tests negative, she will be cleared to begin her season.
For the defending champion Energy Standard club, who are also the overwhelming favorites to win in season 2, this means that they will be without one of their star swimmers for at least their first meet. That first meet will see them face off against 3 of the 4 American teams: Cali Condors, LA Current, and New York Breakers. The Condors and Current are the two American teams that qualified for the final in season 1 of the league.
Fortunately for Energy Standard, they have a “bye” (off weekend) in the 2nd weekend of the season, meaning that presuming all advances well for Heemskerk, she should be able to return for the team’s 2nd meet on November 2 and 3.
Last season, Heemskerk ranked 19th in the league in the “MVP scoring” category, and 5th among Energy Standard swimmers. She also ranked 19th according to the league’s new “aggregated rating” system.
Social Media Posts of Swimmers Departing for ISL 2020:
— Ryan Murphy (@ryan_f_murphy) October 10, 2020