2020 Arnold Sports Festival USA: Athletes to be screened for coronavirus.
Organizers of the Arnold Sports Festival said a medical team, directed by Mount Carmel Health System will screen all of its athletes for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus. The event will be held, next weekend between 5-8 March at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
The world-renowned event brings in athletes from 80 countries that will compete in more than 80 events. Including spectators, the event is expected to bring in more than 200 thousand people to the Columbus area.
“The Arnold Sports Festival is the Superbowl of health and fitness,” Communications director Brent LaLonde said.
Despite the threat of the coronavirus, LaLonde said all events will be up and running as usual. He said, other than a few athletes from China who are not attending because of the travel ban, the number of participants is still high.
“We haven’t felt an impact,” He said. “We haven’t heard concerns from any sports groups yet as we go into the weekend. It’s something we are monitoring. We will be communicating best practices and good hygiene with our attendees.”
They will also have more hand sanitizing stations, four EMT locations and a first aid room open to all, in attendance. The Ohio Department of Health is urging anyone who is sick to stay home.
John Glen International Airport officials said they are preparing for the influx of travelers. They expect a 10% increase in travelers next week. That means about 1,000 extra travelers per day.
“We have the Arnold, and we are adding in spring break travelers,” Communications director Kristen Easterday said. “There is going to be an increase. We’re recommending you get here two hours early.”
The event brings a huge boost to the local economy every year. More than $54 million is expected to be spent in Columbus. More than 20 thousand hotels rooms will be booked next weekend.
“It obviously has a huge impact on tourism, LaLonde said. “It brings money to hotels, restaurants and all of our shopping districts.”
The official Arnold Sports Festival website created a section with all the information about the coronavirus – click HERE.