A few days back, the NSK, via spokesperson Shibatayama, announced that it will hold global screening for COVID-19 prior to the basho, as it did in January.
The support staff (gyoji, tokoyama, yobidashi etc.) were tested first, and turned out negative.
Today the results came in for the oyakata and the rikishi. While all rikishi were thankfully negative, two oyakata were found positive.
- Otowayama oyakata, former Tenkaiho, of Onoe beya
- Onogawa oyakata, former Kitataiki, of Yamahibiki beya
Those of you following the NSK’s official YouTube channel will recognize these as two of the pillars of the “oyakata channel”, in charge of the more lighthearted videos and live commentary.
Onoe beya has announced on its Facebook page that it has been instructed by the NSK to go kyujo for Haru basho. It is still unclear at the time of writing whether the same has been decreed for Yamahibiki beya. This apparently depends on whether Onogawa oyakata has spent time at the heya in recent days.
Neither heya has any sekitori. The most familiar faces from Onoe beya are Ryuko and Hokutenkai, while Yamahibiki beya is home to Kitaharima.
Neither oyakata has shown any symptoms, and we wish the case will end there – with no symptoms, no after-effects, and no further chain of infections.