What began as a trickle of infections among athletes and staff has turned into a steady stream just days before the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games, with COVID-19 threatening to derail the competition schedule and casting doubt on the ability of organizers to handle the situation if it continues to worsen.

Not only is it unclear whether athletes who test positive will be allowed to compete after they recover, the stark discrepancy between protocols for close contacts among participants in the Games and those for the rest of Japan is drawing criticism.

Organizers insist the “bubble” meant to protect residents from athletes, staff and other people connected to the Games — and vice versa — remains intact, even as the list of cases continues to grow with less than two days until the opening ceremony on Friday evening.