5 members of Canada's Olympic team placed under COVID-19 protocols in Beijing
Full delegation on ground in China consists of 246 people, including athletes and others
Five members of Canada's Olympic delegation were placed under COVID-19 protocols upon arrival in Beijing — although it's unclear whether than means they tested positive and are in quarantine.
The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) said it would not be sharing names "because there will likely be persistent shedders," meaning people who continue to test positive for the virus long after their initial diagnosis.
"We are following the Beijing 2022 playbook rules," COC said a statement. "Part of our strategy was to arrive early to allow time for confirmation testing and, if necessary, the medical expert panel process to unfold."
The full Canadian delegation currently on the ground in China consists of 246 people. The COC did not specify whether any of the 215 athletes on the team were in protocols. Canada is bringing a delegation of around 600 people to the Games, including athletes, coaches and staff.
WATCH | Canadian athletes arrive in Beijing:
The COC said it would work with athletes to release specific names in the event a positive test makes them unable to compete. It plans to release daily updates on the number of team members in protocols.
"Our success at the Games will be measured by the health and safety of Team Canada and on the ability for athletes to step on the field of play and live out their dreams," said Eric Myles, the COC's chief sport officer, in a press release.
"We look forward to the incredible and inspiring stories that will come from these Olympic Games."
Athletes were required to provide two negative COVID-19 tests within 96 hours of boarding the plane to China, plus one more upon arrival. Much of the Canadian contingent began to arrive in Beijing on Thursday.
On the flights, athletes were grouped together by sport in order to remain within the bubbles in which they've been living and training. There were empty seats between each athlete and an empty row between sports, since those within two rows of someone who tests positive count as "close contacts," per the Olympic playbook.
The opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics takes place next Friday, with competition slowly starting earlier in the week.
3rd-largest Canadian Winter team ever
The 215-athlete team marks Canada's third-largest for a Winter Games.
It's led by short track speed skater Charles Hamelin, who at 37 is set to compete in his fifth and final Olympics.
The decorated athlete from Sainte-Julie Que., is one of 45 Olympic medallists on the team looking for another trip to the podium. With one more medal, Hamelin would tie fellow speed skater Cindy Klassen as Canada's most decorated Winter Olympian and Andre De Grasse as the country's most decorated male Olympian. Two medals would push Hamelin into a tie with Penny Oleksiak for most won by a Canadian Olympian.
Of the athletes heading to China to compete, 106 identify as female, the most ever in Canadian Winter Olympic history.
Sixteen-year-old snowboarder Brooke D'Hondt will be the youngest athlete competing for Canada at the games and is among 117 who will be making their Olympic debut.
Curler Jennifer Jones, who won gold in 2014, is the oldest Canadian athlete at 47 years of age.
"Getting to my first Olympics was a dream come true, so to have a chance to play again, and wear the Maple Leaf, is a privilege and one that I'll never take for granted," Jones said.
Ontario will be best represented on Team Canada with 60 athletes, with Quebec not far behind with 57.
Alberta will have 40 and British Columbia is sending 32.
No other province or territory will have double-digit athletes. Manitoba has nine, Saskatchewan has six, Nova Scotia has four, Newfoundland and Labrador have three, and New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Yukon each have one athlete.
Nunavut and the Northwest Territories do not have an Olympic representative and one athlete, figure skater Keegan Messing, was born outside of Canada (Alaska, United States).
With files from The Canadian Press