US Olympic gymnast from KC tests positive for COVID-19

Posted at 5:55 AM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-19 13:50:08-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Olympic gymnast Kara Eaker has tested positive for COVID-19.

GAGE Gymnastics coach Al Fong and Eaker's father both confirmed to KSHB 41 News that the affected athlete is Kara.

She is doing fine and has no symptoms, but did return a positive test.

In an interview on June 27, Kara told KSHB 41 News she was vaccinated, meaning the case is a breakthrough case.

Fong said they were very surprised because they had to go through many hours of testing to get into Japan and were tested everywhere they went.

“In a week she hasn't had contact with any of the six athletes and she only had brief contact with Leanne. As soon as that happened, they moved Leanne into another room. Leanne (Wong) and Kara are not even seeing each other," he said.

Kara initially returned a positive test and was taken to the hospital for a confirmation test where she then tested negative. However, the same thing happened a second time, and that time, she tested positive twice, according to Fong.

“So they're extremely disappointed. It’s a shock as well. It will probably set in more tomorrow, the reality," the coach said in an interview with KSHB 41 News. “It's just as a-typical and you know and here's the sad part it's not over, I mean just not over because look how it took us by surprise that is happened to Kara. It could easily happen to the other athletes as well.”

University of Kansas Health System doctors said on Monday's COVID-19 update that the protocols for a vaccinated person who tests positive will not be different than those for someone who is unvaccinated. The person should isolate for 10 days.

Fong said the Japanese guidelines could allow Kara to be released from quarantine on day eight or nine if she never develops symptoms.

Kansas City gymnasts Eaker and Leanne Wong traveled to Tokyo with the team as replacement athletes.

Wong's parents confirmed she is fine and has tested negative. However, she is being placed in quarantine due to contact with Eaker, according to Fong.

USA Gymnastics released the following statement:

“One of the replacement athletes for the women’s artistic gymnastics team received a positive COVID test on Sunday, July 18. After reviewing the implemented COVID protocols with members of the delegation, the local government determined that the affected replacement athlete and one other replacement athlete would be subject to additional quarantine restrictions. Accordingly, on Monday, the Olympic athletes moved to separate lodging accommodations and a separate training facility, as originally planned, and will continue their preparation for the Games. The entire delegation continues to be vigilant and will maintain strict protocols while they are in Tokyo.”