Italian record-holder Silvia Di Pietro is the latest participant from the 2020 Italian Open Championships to test positive for COVID-19. She broke the news in a post published to her Instagram page yesterday.
The meet was a 2021 Olympic qualifier, held in Riccione from December 17 to 19. Over 450 athletes competed at the event.
Di Pietro was staying in the same hotel as other veteran national team-ers like Martina Carraro, Ilaria Bianchi, Filippo Magnini, Elena Di Liddo and more as top Italian clubs Fiamme Azzurre, Esercito and Nuotatori Milanesi stayed together in said hotel.
Di Liddo and 15-year-old breaststroke star Benedetta Pilato were the first known positive results post-meet, leading a few other participants to quarantine. Since then, additional swimmers (and coaches) have either tested positive or gone into quarantine out of caution, including Di Pietro.
The following people have either tested positive or are in quarantine and awaiting results:
- Ilaria Scarcella
- Martina Carraro
- Elena Di Liddo
- Benedetta Pilato (and her coach Vito D’Onghia)
- Ilaria Bianchi
- Filippo Magnini
- Giulia D’Innocenzo
- Mario Sanzullo
- Silvia Di Pietro
In the caption below, Di Pietro says she took a swab test on Sunday, December 27, which came back negative. But that same evening, she says, she began to feel unwell and ran a fever. Her next test came back positive.
As meet organizers try to figure out how to host major meets heading into 2021, including ones as big as the Olympic Trials, the aftermath of this meet does not inspire confidence. The meet ran with many new protocols to prevent the spread of the virus, below, though it’s unclear how effective they really were.
According to the Italian Swimming Federation:
- Access to the competition facility for athletes, coaches, and managers was allowed only from the main entrance of Via Monte Rosa 60.
- It was mandatory for everyone to always have a copy of their negative coronavirus test with them, and all participants had to follow-up with the Federal Offices 72 hours before being granted access to the competition facility. Participants also had to send the Federal Offices a copy of the test by 12:00 pm on December 15th.
- At the time of the first access, it was also necessary to hand over to the control the self-certification provided for by federal pandemic prevention rules.
In addition, it was mandatory:
- To keep masks on inside the facility, until the athlete was positioned behind the starting blocks.
- To Store belongings and clothing inside plastic bags before departure
- To observe social distancing.
- To Respect the access and use times of the swimming pool for heating