United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus Communications

Dear Team USA community –


As we near the end of an unprecedented year, we want to keep you informed of our ongoing efforts as we collectively learn, adapt and plan in the midst of the challenges presented by the pandemic.  

COVID-19 cases are on the rise across the U.S. and we are just now entering cold and flu season, so we must continue to monitor and respond as needed given the changing landscape. In the Olympic & Paralympic Training Center section below, we have outlined a new set of thresholds that would determine if we need to separate onsite and offsite athletes in order to protect the health and safety of all athletes, coaches and staff based on high prevalence of COVID-19 within local communities.  

Additionally, with many sports returning to competition and training, and simultaneously making decisions regarding travel, we have updated our Current Travel Restrictions and Guidance. We encourage everyone to review and ask questions as you plan. 

We also want to make you aware of two state-developed exposure tracking apps, specifically for the states of Colorado and New York where we have athlete populations at our training centers. The apps will notify you if you’ve come in close, sustained contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. Both are entirely voluntary and do not track your location or personal data. Learn more about the Colorado app and New York app, and we encourage residents in these states to consider opting in. 

Below are some additional updates aggregated for our Olympic and Paralympic community. Please reach out with any thoughts or questions. 

We are grateful for the supportive community that continues to collaborate and learn together as we strive to keep everyone healthy and safe. 

 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Jonathan Finnoff                                                      
USOPC Chief Medical Officer                                        
On behalf of the USOPC COVID-19 Working Group

 

U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Centers and Facilities 

OPTC Re-entry Update
The recent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., particularly in Colorado, presents us with another challenge. In order to protect the health and wellness of our athletes, and to increase the likelihood we can continue to operate the training centers for Team USA athletes despite increases in the number of COVID-19 cases in the community, we have made the decision to proactively separate onsite and offsite athletes into different training groups should either of the following occur:

  • The 7-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases per 100k people in the respective county is at or above 25 cases for 7 days in a row, OR
  • County restrictions for the respective training facilities increase to the following levels:

The 7-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases in each county can be found at this website. 

Should we reach one of these thresholds, the following changes will occur at the applicable training center:

  • OPTC staff will communicate with impacted athletes, coaches and NGBs to adjust scheduling and training plans.
  • Onsite athletes who participate in sports that use the same facilities (i.e.: swimmers and triathletes) will be able to train in the facility at the same time but will need to follow existing infection prevention measures.
  • Training sessions for offsite athletes with higher risk for a more severe infection and worse outcome should they develop a COVID-19 infection will not be combined with other offsite athlete groups.
  • Sports medicine will offer separate treatment times for onsite and offsite athletes.

El Paso County in Colorado has been oscillating above and below the 7-day rolling average of cases over 25 per 100,000 the past week. We’ll continue to monitor the situation but will not be separating onsite and offsite athletes this week. At this time, we do not anticipate changes at the LPOPTC, as Essex County in New York has not reached these thresholds.

Since the reopening of the training centers in June, just over 300 athletes completed the re-entry process. Of those athletes, five tested positive for COVID-19. In the five cases of a positive COVID-19 test, contact tracing was performed by our sports medicine team, and all individuals identified as having close, sustained contact with the athletes who tested positive for COVID-19 were quarantined. Four of the five athletes have fully recovered and resumed unrestricted training, while no spread of COVID-19 cases have occurred. Eleven athletes returned positive antibody tests, indicating a prior COVID-19 infection.

Based on new information, we continue to update the OPTC Re-entry Playbook. Most recently, the playbook was updated to reflect that athletes and coaches who have had COVID-19 within three months of their re-entry date will not receive a COVID-19 test during re-entry unless they are experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Additionally, coaches who complete the re-entry process and stay onsite at one of the training facilities will complete the same twice-daily electronic COVID-19 sign and symptom survey as the athletes.

With all the re-entry phases now complete, the OPTCs will continue to work cross-departmentally to identify and approve program requests.

OPTC Program Requests

Looking ahead to 2021, the OPTCs will continue to operate on a limited basis and will schedule programming in two-month increments to evaluate the COVID landscape and adjust policies, procedures and availability accordingly.

The CSOPTC will continue to use a total of 80 beds for both long-term and short-term camps targeted at those athletes training for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 or Beijing 2022. All prior approved programs for January and February will be cancelled. National Governing Bodies and High Performance Management Organizations are asked to submit a program requests for this timeframe to OTCRequests@usopc.org by Nov. 6.


Medical

The number of COVID-19 cases around the world and in the United States have significantly increased over the past two weeks – indicating the beginning of a third wave. In the U.S., there are approximately 9,268,896 confirmed cases and 231,320 associated deaths.

The CDC recently updated its contact tracing criteria to note that if someone tests positive for COVID-19, anyone who was within six feet of that individual for a cumulative total of at least 15 minutes over a 24 hour period beginning two days before symptoms of COVID-19 began or, in the case of a person without symptoms, two days before their positive COVID-19 test, needs to quarantine for 14 days and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 due to their risk of developing this disease.

The CDC also recommends that the quarantined individual receive a COVID-19 test on day five or six of the quarantine since most people who will develop COVID-19 will have a positive COVID-19 test at that time. However, a negative test does not mean that the quarantine can stop. The person still needs to complete the entire 14-day quarantine since it is possible they may develop COVID-19 during this time period.

With the rise in cases, we will continue to – and encourage everyone – to monitor public health guidelines, as they will likely become more restrictive in response to the situation. In considering travel, be prepared for rapid changes in restrictions, training facility availability and competition schedules and consider making contingency plans to travel back to the U.S. on short notice if you are traveling internationally.


Current Travel Restrictions and Guidance

The Current Travel Restrictions and Guidance have been updated. Please review and know we are available to support and help you navigate travel questions. Please contact Jen Gallagher (jen.gallagher@usopc.org) with questions. A couple travel updates to note:

  • The Department of State is now providing specific processing times for mailed-in (standard processing) passports and has resumed expedited service.
  • Routine processing time: 10-12 weeks
  • Expedited processing time: 4-6 weeks (additional $60 fee)
  • If processing in less than 4 weeks is needed, please contact jen.gallagher@usopc.org
  • Many countries have implemented entry and exit restrictions based on the evolving COVID-19 status. When planning travel abroad, please visit the Department of State’s COVID-19 country-specific information website for full details about your destination.
  • Travel restrictions abroad are increasingly implemented at the local and regional levels. Please carefully monitor information about your destinations. In addition to entry/exit requirements, policies may cover reduced hours and/or capacity for restaurants, stores, and transportation.
  • Some countries offer waivers or exemptions for sport-related travel. For additional information, please contact jen.gallagher@usopc.org.
  • Non-essential travel is restricted through the U.S./Canada and U.S./Mexico land borders through Nov. 21, 2020. These restrictions are subject to reevaluation and potential further extension.
  • If a foreign athlete/staff member needs to enter the U.S. for Olympic/Paralympic-related activities and is traveling from a restricted nation (under the current Presidential Proclamations), please contact david.francis@usopc.org to inquire about the waiver process. 
  • TSA now permits travelers to carry one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger.
  • Airlines may require travelers to complete a health acknowledgement policy and questionnaire, which will be conducted at check-in.
  • Some airports and airlines have started to offer COVID testing for passengers. Check with your airline and/or both the departing and arrival airports to see what may be available to travelers.
  • Delta has eliminated change fees for all destinations through Dec. 31, 2020, and United has announced the permanent elimination of change fees for all U.S. destinations.

The USOPC recognizes the importance of travel for athletes and National Governing Bodies, and your safety continues to be a top priority. We are actively working with government officials and other partners across the international Olympic and Paralympic movements to identify efficiencies as travel resumes, and solutions where challenges are present.


Athlete Ombuds
The Office of the Athlete Ombuds is available to provide independent and confidential advice to elite Team USA athletes on sport-related rules, policies and processes. Athletes who have specific questions about their health and the risk factors of traveling should seek advice from their medical professionals and public health officials. Athletes may contact the Office of the Athlete Ombuds at ombudsman@usathlete.org or 719-866-5000 with questions, or visit usathlete.org for more information.


Travel Abroad
As with all travel, please reference the CDC’s Considerations for Travelers and the guidance of federal, state and local officials to protect yourself and others during travel. It is recommended that you register with the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to enroll your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate and receive the latest information about your destination.

Travel Advisories and Restrictions

  • The Department of State lifted its Global Level 4 Travel Advisory on Aug. 6, 2020; however, this was replaced by a list of country-specific travel advisory levels, ranging from 1-4.
  • The CDC also maintains country-specific risk levels, which range from 1-3.
  • Many countries have implemented entry and exit restrictions based on the evolving COVID-19 status. When planning travel abroad, please visit the Department of State’s COVID-19 country-specific information website for full details about your destination.
    • Note: While the European Union announced regional travel guidance in early July, each country is permitted to implement its own entry and health protocols. Due to this, policies vary widely across the EU, including criteria for entry, testing and/or quarantine upon arrival. This variation may also influence the ability to travel from country-to-country within the EU.
  • Travel restrictions abroad are increasingly implemented at the local and regional levels. Please carefully monitor information about your destinations. In addition to entry/exit requirements, policies may cover reduced hours and/or capacity for restaurants, stores, and transportation.
  • Some countries offer waivers or exemptions for sport-related travel. For additional information, please contact jen.gallagher@usopc.org.
  • Athletes serving in the military should review any applicable policies regarding their current ability to travel abroad.

Travel Documents
Routine government processes – both in the U.S. and abroad – continue to experience delays due to staff reductions and additional operational adjustments. Please plan as far in advance as possible to ensure you do not encounter any issues.

  • Passport – The Department of State is now providing specific processing times for mailed-in (standard processing) passports and has resumed expedited service.
    • Routine processing time: 10-12 weeks
    • Expedited processing time: 4-6 weeks (additional $60 fee)
    • If you need to renew your passport or request other passport services, and you:
      • plan to travel abroad before the mid-November 2020; or
      • have not received your mailed-in passport within 2 weeks of your departure date,
      • contact jen.gallagher@usopc.org for passport assistance.
  • Visa – Many embassies and consulates in the U.S. have reduced their on-site staffing levels and adjusted their operations, which may cause delays or operational changes.
  • Global Entry – Trusted Traveler Program Enrollment Centers resumed operations Sept. 8, 2020. Enrollment on Arrival is also operational at participating airports.
  • Driver’s License – If your license or state-issued ID expired on or after March 1, 2020, and you are unable to renew your ID, TSA will accept expired licenses up to a year after expiration.
    • The new deadline to obtain a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license is Oct. 1, 2021.


Travel to the U.S.
All Travelers

  • Effective Aug. 21, 2020, the CDC removed the requirement to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival from an international destination.
    • Please continue to monitor state and local requirements, as some cities/states do have quarantine/travel restrictions for interstate travel.
  • Follow state and local travel restrictions and executive orders for travel within the U.S., especially as it relates to reopening status, face-mask policies and size of gatherings.
    • For up-to-date information, check the guidance of the state or local health department(s) for your destination and any locations where you may travel along your route/itinerary.
      • Numerous states and territories have implemented restrictions for travelers, including, but not limited to Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, D.C., as well as cities, such as Chicago.
    • United Airlines has posted a travel restrictions map, which provides a quick and easy way to see where you can travel in the U.S. – including which states are enforcing travel restrictions.
  • Effective Sept. 14, 2020, travelers who were recently in certain European countries, China, Iran or Brazil are no longer required to funnel through one of 15 airports for enhanced entry screening.

Foreign Nationals
U.S./Canada and U.S./Mexico

  • Non-essential travel is restricted through the U.S./Canada and U.S./Mexico land borders through Nov. 21, 2020. These restrictions are subject to reevaluation and potential further extension.
    • Non-essential travel includes activities that are considered tourism or recreation in nature.
    • NOTE: This restriction does not apply to those flying from Canada or Mexico to the U.S.

China/Iran/Brazil/Schengen Zone Travel Restrictions

  • Foreign nationals, regardless of citizenship, who have been in the following nations at any point in the 14 days before their scheduled arrival, are not permitted to enter the U.S. without a National Interest Exemption waiver:
  • Asia/Middle East: China and Iran
    • Europe: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K.
    • South America: Brazil
  • NOTE: Transit through any of the nations listed above (e.g. flight lay-over) is considered as being physically present in the nation.
  • If a traveler from these destinations needs to enter the U.S. for Olympic/Paralympic-related activities, please contact david.francis@usopc.org to inquire about the waiver process.

Prior to Travel

  • Visa – U.S. embassies and consulates are resuming operations as local conditions permit. If a visa is required for the travelers’ entry into the U.S.:
  • Best Practices: The following recommendations are best practices to help ease entry into the U.S.
    • NGBs, LOCs and event hosts – Please reference the USOPC Guidance: Considerations For Participation In National Or International Camps Or Competitions for  information to assist with planning.
    • Develop a flight manifest, listing the names, passport numbers and arrival flight information for all travelers.
    • Once complete, send this information to david.francis@usopc.org, so that Customs and Border Protection can be notified in advance of the arrivals.
    • Hub Approach
    • Travelers should book through specific overseas hubs for onward travel to the U.S. Contact USOPC’s government relations office for information on hubs.
    • Event Documentation
    • Travelers should possess documentation that shows that they have been invited to compete or train in the U.S. They should be prepared to present this documentation to the airline when checking in for your flight, and again to a Customs and Border Protection officer upon arrival to the U.S.
    • Quarantine Protocols
    • Work with your event organizers and reference state and local guidance to understand self-quarantine requirements, including the scope and duration of any protocols that must be adhered to after entry into the U.S., and any limitations on movement from your accommodations to the competition and/or training site(s)

Post-Competition and Exit from the U.S.

  • Entry and exit policies vary by nation and are frequently modified. Please visit the Department of State’s Country Specific Information website for the latest information regarding your destination.
    • This is particularly important for individuals who intend to travel to, and compete or train in, another country following their departure from the U.S.
    • Quarantine requirements may apply to travelers who have recently been in the U.S., and can potentially impact an athlete’s ability to compete.


Medical Considerations

Prior to scheduling a trip, there are many questions you should consider, including:

  1. Is there active community transmission of COVID-19 where you live, which could potentially lead you to introducing the virus to the location where you are traveling?
  2. Is there active community transmission of COVID-19 where you are traveling, which increases your risk of getting infected during your trip and/or taking an infection back to your community?
  3. If you get infected, are you at risk of a more severe infection or do/will you have close sustained contact with someone who is at risk for a more severe infection (see risk factors below)?
  4. Will you be required to quarantine for 14 days at your destination or upon return from your trip?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider canceling or delaying your trip.

  • The following are risk factors for a more severe infection:
  • Age > 65
  • Live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • History of chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • History of serious heart conditions
  • History of compromised immune system
  • History of diabetes
  • History of chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis
  • History of liver disease
  • Severe obesity (BMI > 40)

If you are sick, don’t travel. If you are not sick and choose to travel, here are things you can do to reduce your risk of infection:

  • Wear a fitted or cone-style facial covering with multiple layers of fabric – note that bandanas and gaiters do not offer the same level of protection
  • Consider wearing eyeglasses/eye shields to protect your eyes from respiratory droplets
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds
  • Practice physical distancing by staying at least six feet away from others
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a facial tissue or your elbow
  • Wipe down arm rests, tray tables, video monitors and seat belts on the airplane with antiseptic cleanser
  • Use hand sanitizer after touching anything that other people may have touched
  • Get food from a drive-through, curbside restaurant service or at the store
  • Consider cleaning your hotel room with EPA approved products for COVID-19 using the CDC’s cleaning guidelines

Since food service isn’t as readily available on flights, be sure to bring your own food and water on the plane. The following is a checklist of supplies you should consider bringing with you on your trip:

  • Facial covering
  • Eyeglasses/shields
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Additional cleaning supplies for the hotel room
  • Food and water
  • Medications to last your entire trip

Finally, be sure to review travel related resources from the CDC and WHO prior to your trip.


Airlines and Travel
Airports, airlines, hotels and ride-sharing services are evolving their policies and procedures to protect travelers and employees. As you travel, please be mindful of the policies implemented by your airline, accommodations provider and services that you may be using during your trip.

  • TSA has modified checkpoint procedures, including reduced contact, increased physical distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. For full details, visit the TSA Response to COVID-19 website.
    • NOTE: TSA now permits travelers to carry one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger.
  • Many major U.S. airlines have agreed to a set of policies that enforce facial coverings while onboard their planes. If a passenger opts not to comply with these policies, the airlines have agreed to enforce “consequences for noncompliance,” which may include suspension of flying privileges for that carrier.
    • Airlines, such as Delta and United, also require face coverings in additional areas of the airport, including at customer service counters and kiosks, gates, the jet bridge and baggage claim areas.
    • Delta and United have also stated that masks with an exhaust valve are not allowed to serve as an approved face covering.
      • Delta passengers with a medical reason for not wearing a face covering must complete a “Clearance to Fly” process with a medical provider at the airport prior to departure.
  • Airlines may require travelers to complete a health acknowledgement policy and questionnaire, which will be conducted at check-in.
  • Some airports and airlines have started to offer COVID testing for passengers, check with your airline and/or both the departing and arrival airports to see what may be available to travelers.
  • United and Delta airlines have eliminated change fees for all destinations through Dec. 31, 2020 and United has announced the permanent elimination of change fees for all U.S. destinations.
    • American has eliminated change fees for travel in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for certain cabins.
    • Cabin class varies per airline, so please check with each individual airline for specific details.
  • Both American and United announced that customers will now be able to fly standby for same-day travel at no charge. The updated policy is currently in effect for American with United set to implement the policy in January.
  • Delta has announced it will continue to block middle seats through Jan. 6, 2021.

A few helpful resources to monitor current policies are listed below:

October 30, 2020

Dear Team USA community,

The USOPC is committed to protecting the health and wellness of Team USA athletes during the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency. As cases of COVID-19 rise across the country and around the world, the USOPC has been in consistent communication with infectious disease experts, the Centers for Disease Control, local and state public health authorities, and government officials. 

We have applied for, and been granted, “professional sports” designation by the state of New York, and we will maintain this designation at the Lake Placid Olympic & Paralympic Training Center as long as we continue to meet or exceed the New York State Department of Health guidelines outlined in their professional sports training facilities and professional sports competitions without spectators documents. We have applied for a similar designation from the state of Colorado for the Colorado Springs Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, and the decision is pending.

Our ability to receive special designations from state governments, and to maintain facilities free of significant outbreak, highlights the success of our re-entry strategy, the infection prevention measures we have put into place, and the dedication of the athletes, coaches, and staff to follow these requirements. 

The recent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., particularly in Colorado, presents us with another challenge. In order to protect the health and wellness of our athletes, and to increase the likelihood we can continue to operate the training centers for Team USA athletes despite increases in the number of COVID-19 cases in the community, we have made the decision to proactively separate onsite and offsite athletes into different training groups should either of the following occur:

1. The 7-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the respective county is at or above 25 cases for seven days in a row, OR
2. County restrictions for the respective training facilities increase to the following levels:

The 7-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases in each county can be found at this website. 


Should we reach one of these thresholds, the following changes will occur at the applicable training center: 

 

  • OPTC staff will communicate with impacted athletes, coaches and NGBs to adjust scheduling and training plans.
  • Onsite athletes who participate in sports that use the same facilities (i.e.: swimmers and triathletes) will be able to train in the facility at the same time but will need to follow existing infection prevention measures.
  • Training sessions for offsite athletes with higher risk for a more severe infection and worse outcome should they develop a COVID-19 infection will not be combined with other offsite athlete groups.
  • Sports medicine will offer separate treatment times for onsite and offsite athletes.

As El Paso County in Colorado has surpassed the 7-day rolling average of cases over 25 per 100,000, we anticipate needing to make these changes on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at the CSOPTC, unless state guidelines mandate earlier implementation. At this time, we do not anticipate changes at the LPOPTC, as Essex County in New York has not reached these thresholds.

Reintegration of onsite and offsite training groups will occur when county restrictions are reduced AND the 7-day rolling average drops below 25 cases per 100,000 people for seven days in a row. 

We recognize that this may present challenges but believe this is necessary to protect the health and wellness and training opportunities of Team USA athletes, coaches, and staff. 

Be sure to reach out to the sport psychologist working with your team or our mental health director, Jessica Bartley (jessica.bartley@usopc.org), for mental health support needs during these uncertain times. Additionally, do not hesitate to reach out to me or your USOPC high performance teams with questions.  

I appreciate your understanding and continued efforts to keep our training centers safe. A separate communication will be sent to athletes and NGBs utilizing the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center. 

We look forward to discussing in more detail during the scheduled webinars.


Sincerely,  

Dr. Jonathan Finnoff
USOPC Chief Medical Officer

Team USA Athlete FAQ

Navigating The Impact Of COVID-19

 

Where is the most up-to-date COVID-19 information from the USOPC?

Please refer to TeamUSA.org/coronavirus for the latest information related to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) from the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee. 

 

Who should I reach out to with questions?

Medical: Dr. Jonathan Finnoff, USOPC Chief Medical Officer (jonathan.finnoff@usopc.org)

Confidential & Independent Advice: Kacie Wallace, Athlete Ombudsman (ombudsman@usathlete.org)

Travel: Nicole Deal, Chief Security Officer (nicole.deal@usopc.org)

General & ComPsych access: Julia Clukey, USOPC Director of Athlete Engagement (julia.clukey@usopc.org)

 

Team Qualification & Selection   

The USOPC continues to work with International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee to gain a better understanding of how qualification systems for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 are affected by COVID-19. The USOPC has not received an official statement or concrete information yet and will communicate more information to athletes and NGBs as updates become available.

The USOPC and NGBs are working closely, with athlete leadership, to protect athlete’s safety and well-being, and ensure fair selection and qualification opportunities for Games across nations and within Team USA. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic community is working to protect opportunities for Team USA athletes to obtain open quota spots, and to maintain its own selection procedures in order to fill those spots, to the extent possible. 

 

Where should I go to learn more about changes to qualification and selection procedures or competition cancellations and/or postponements?

International Federations are currently reviewing selection criteria by sport and have committed to publishing and communicating any changes to qualification criteria.

Your National Governing Body is responsible for maintaining updates on its website and on its selection procedures document.

We realize this information is not complete, but the USOPC is committed to working with the IOC, IPC and IFs to collect this information and will update you as we have more information. 

 

What should I do if event cancellations or postponements impact my ability to qualify – or leave me unable to qualify or be selected? 

Reach out to your NGB or AAC representative if you have questions about changes, cancellations or postponements.

Contact the Athlete Ombudsman Office (ombudsman@usathlete.org) for independent, confidential advice about your rights and options with respect to any impact you're experiencing. 

 

What support is available to athletes to help manage the uncertainty of qualification and team selection?

The USOPC has extended benefits to all Team USA athlete and USOPC employees through its Employee Assistance Program, which provides unlimited 24/7 access to phone counseling sessions and other resources such as emotional and wellness support, legal guidance and more. Reach out to Athlete Services (athleteservices@usopc.org) or your NGB for access to these ComPsych resources.

 

Training

What is the status of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Centers in Colorado Springs, Colorado? 

Following the guidance of the State Health Department in Colorado and New York, all training venues on the OPTC campuses are closed, effective Wednesday, March 18, including pool, velodrome, gymnasiums, and strength and conditioning centers. This closure will remain in effect for at least 30 days and the USOPC will communicate updates as more information becomes available. Please reach out to the Colorado Springs Olympic & Paralympic Training Center via phone at (719) 866-4554 for the most up-to-date hours and information.

 

What is the status of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York? 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday, March 20, a statewide order requiring 100 percent of individuals to stay home with the exception of businesses and service providers that are deemed to offer an “essential service” in an attempt to prevent the further spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state. This order went into effect Sunday, March 22, at 8 p.m. At this time, our staffing operations at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Lake Placid have not changed with the exception that sports medicine clinic hours have been temporarily reduced. On-call clinicians will continue to be available 24/7 should athletes need medical care outside of posted clinic hours. Please reach out to the Lake Placid Olympic & Paralympic Training Center via phone at (518) 523-8450 for the most up-to-date hours and information. 

 

What is the status of the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center (CVEATC)? 

As of Wednesday, March 18, the CVEATC will be open to residents only, including coaches and performance services staff. No new athletes are allowed on-complex as of Wednesday, March 18, until further notice. CDC disease prevention measures are in place and all training facilities at the CVEATC are closed until further notice. 

Effective March 20, California issued a “shelter in place” order. EAS will continue to provide essential support services to the current resident athletes at CVETAC. As such, athletes should be isolating themselves as recommended by the government mandates. The USOPC’s sports medicine team will continue to provide essential, minimal staff support to Team USA athletes at the CVEATC. We are however, unable to provide athletic trainers for off-site or outdoor training venues because gyms and fitness facilities have been ordered to close. If an athlete chooses to train independently in a safe, outdoor, non-gym environment and not at one of these facilities, we would encourage them to follow CDC infection prevention recommendations.  

 

I am an on-site resident athlete; what are my options?

All on-site residents and those athletes who are currently in-house will continue to be able to live at the OPTCs. The dining halls and sports medicine clinics will also remain open with adjusted protocols and hours. 

 

I am an off-site resident athlete; can I access the training centers?

All facility-use and off-site residents who may have previously had access to the training centers for training and/or meals will not be allowed on campus for at least 30 days (beginning March 18). The USOPC will continue to follow state guidance and adjust access accordingly. 

 

I have already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Games and my training site is closed. Can I train at the OPTCs?

Unfortunately, no. Effective March 18, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Centers are not able to accept additional athletes or training programs. Only on-site resident athletes are permitted on campus. 

 

What is the status of other U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Sites? 

Training sites around the country are required to adhere to state or local government mandates. Please contact the training site directly for more information.

 

What are the dining hall hours?

Pursuant to state law, the dining halls at both OPTCs are closed to all sit-down dining. While this changes the service, the USOPC remains committed to serving high-quality and healthy food to resident and in-house athletes by providing ‘to-go’ type meals. Dining hall hours have also been adjusted to help promote social distancing:

Dining hall hours in Colorado Springs OPTC will be as follows:

Breakfast:  7-9:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Dinner: 5-7 p.m.

*To-Go Boxes Only*

 

Dining hall hours in Lake Placid OPTC will be as follows:

Breakfast: 7-10 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Dinner: 5-8 p.m.

*To-Go Boxes Only*

 

Dining hall hours in Chula Vista EATC will be as follows:

Breakfast: 7:30-10:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Dinner: 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

*To-Go Boxes Only*

 

Travel

What travel restrictions are currently in place? 

As of March 19, the U.S. Department of State issued a Level 4 Do Not Travel advisory, recommending that U.S. citizens avoid any international travel and provided the following guidance:

If you decide to travel abroad or are already outside the United States:


If you are overseas, we strongly advise you to return to your country of residence or a place where you have a support system.  

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19. Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions. Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.

 

I am returning from abroad; what should I do?

Any travelers who are still abroad should monitor the Department of State’s COVID-19 website regarding any entry or exit restrictions for the countries they are departing from and countries included on your itinerary.

The U.S. government is recommending travelers remain home for 14 days after returning from international travel, monitor their health and practice social distancing. If you are a U.S. resident returning from international travel, we strongly encourage you to check in with sports medicine immediately upon return. 

 

What restrictions are in place domestically?

The CDC and White House are urging a nationwide halt to gatherings of more than 10 people for the next eight weeks. This includes avoiding eating or drinking in bars, restaurant, and food courts, and discretionary travel, shopping trips and social visits. Several states and cities are employing precautionary measures, including closing schools, public sites and entertainment venues – to contain the spread of COVID-19. Please check with your local and state government for the most up-to-date information for your region.

 

What states have implemented “shelter in place” orders?

In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, a growing number of states and cities are implementing “shelter in place” measures. The severity of these measures vary from state to state and are changing quickly. Please check with your local and state government for the most up-to-date information for your region. 

 

How do I self-monitor for COVID-19? 

Twice daily, check for the following signs or symptoms of respiratory infection:

  • Fever (temperature >100.4)
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Additional symptoms may include:
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion
  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea 

For more information, please refer to the following and other helpful resources via TeamUSA.org/coronavirus.  
USOPC Infection Prevention Recommendations
USOPC Self-Monitoring Instructions 

 

Anti-Doping

How do I interact with DCOs?

USADA is focusing on mission-critical testing of athletes in sports that are still competing, and as absolutely needed for those who are preparing for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 to ensure their rights are upheld and their reputations protected.

  • Where feasible, DCOs will use personal protective gear, including mask and gloves. DCOs will also have hand sanitizer for use during processing of the sample. Please keep in mind that many communities have a shortage of these materials that are needed by the healthcare system.
  • As always, we ask that athletes wash their hands before and after testing occurs.
  • We encourage athletes and DCOs to maintain a six-foot distance during the testing process.   
  • During this time, no USADA DCO who has any sign of sickness or otherwise meets any of the risk criteria identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be collecting samples.   

USADA have been informed that some International Federations are continuing to test without changes to protocols. The USOPC is coordinating with WADA and other NADOs to ensure other countries are likewise continuing to ensure elite competition is fair globally and at the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

If you are uncomfortable with testing locations or circumstances, USADA is available to assist. Please contact USADA directly with questions or concerns at (719) 785-2000 or (866) 601-2632 and at athleteexpress@USADA.org. As necessary, updates will be posted to USADA.org and on USADA’s social channels. 

 

Do I still need to report my whereabouts?

USADA asks that athletes continue to file whereabouts to reflect changes in plans or canceled events.

 

Mental Health

What mental health resources are available to me?

As the news surrounding the impact of COVID-19 continues to change and develop, your health and well-being are a top priority to the USOPC.

As a Team USA athlete, the USOPC provides you with mental health services, including unlimited 24/7 access to phone sessions if you need to talk to a certified professional, and other resources such as wellness guidance, financial planning, work-life solutions and more. This video will explain the available benefits: ComPsych EAP.

It’s easy to use these benefits – simply call (800) 428-2716, visit guidanceresources.com or download the GuidanceNow app. Please reach out to your NGB or contact athleteservices@usopc.org for more information, and you will be provided a dedicated code to access these services.

While the impact and spread of COVID-19 is global in nature, every individual is personally navigating through the ever-changing landscape, and uncertainty is to be expected with both you and your families. Please see below for additional resources provided by the USOPC sport psychology team with recommendations on how to cope during this difficult time: 

For Athletes: Coping With The Impact Of Coronavirus

For Coaches, Staff, Parents: Supporting Athletes During Coronavirus 

 

Read the news regarding the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee's decision to postpone the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 to 2021.

 

Team USA Athletes:

Despite the feeling of eventuality that so many of us have felt in the lead up to this moment - my heart breaks for you, your fellow athletes around the world, our friends at Tokyo 2020, the people of Japan, and all who are impacted by this global pandemic and the decision to postpone the Tokyo Games 2020.

We heard your concerns and we shared them. I thank you for being so forthcoming with your perspectives, and also for allowing us the time to hear from your teammates across all sports before making a recommendation to the IOC.

With this decision, the work of planning a new version of the Tokyo Games is now officially underway.

At the same time, we know from you, it’s important that the process of ensuring it is a fair and equitable Games be given equal attention. Working in partnership with athletes, NGBs, International Federations, the IOC and IPC, we’ll (re)define standards for selection and anti-doping, and ensure the reimagined Games live up to the original promise of Tokyo 2020.

This summer was supposed to be a culmination of your hard work and life’s dream, but taking a step back from competition to care for our communities and each other is the right thing to do. Your moment will wait until we can gather again safely.

I wish I had answers to every question out there, but the reality is this decision is unprecedented, and therefore, presents an entirely new process – for you, for the organizers, for the NGBs and for the USOPC.  Please know we are committed to working with you in the coming days, weeks, and months to address them together.

In the meantime, please focus on taking care of yourself and your community. If you need support or have questions, please come to us or your NGB or the Athlete Ombudsman (ombudsman@usathlete.org). We are here to help. As a reminder, we have expanded our mental health services available to you during this time.

The excellence within Team USA is our resilience and how we overcome adversity. I have no doubt we will get through this together as a team, and all be better because of it.

I sincerely look forward to working with you as we once again plan our path to Tokyo.

Wishing you all my very best and go Team USA!

Sarah

Download the COVID-19 Team USA Athlete Survey results.

The following statement is attributable to United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee Chair Susanne Lyons and CEO Sarah Hirshland:

“We are thankful to the 1,780 Team USA athletes for sharing their voice and honest input with us as we address the issues related to COVID-19 and the Tokyo Games, and make good on our promise to put athletes first. We are now confident that we have heard a wide range of viewpoints and understand the diversity of challenges our athletes face. We regret that there is no outcome that can solve all the concerns we face. Our most important conclusion from this broad athlete response is that even if the current significant health concerns could be alleviated by late summer, the enormous disruptions to the training environment, doping controls and qualification process can’t be overcome in a satisfactory manner. To that end, it’s more clear than ever that the path toward postponement is the most promising, and we encourage the IOC to take all needed steps to ensure the Games can be conducted under safe and fair conditions for all competitors. We look forward to their feedback and direction, and stand ready to work in support of Team USA and in full cooperation with the global community.”

Communique from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

Preamble
Today, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) continued its consultations with all the stakeholders of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The first took place with the International Olympic Summer Sports Federations. Those with the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the athletes’ representatives, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), other International Federations (IFs) and other stakeholders will follow in the coming days.

This communique* sets out the principles established by the IOC Executive Board (EB), together with their implementation in cooperation with all the stakeholders concerned. The IOC will continue to act as a responsible organisation. In this context, the IOC asks all its stakeholders within their own remits to do everything to contribute to the containment of the virus.

Communique
This is an unprecedented situation for the whole world, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this crisis. We are in solidarity with the whole of society to do everything to contain the virus.

The situation around the COVID-19 virus is also impacting the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and is changing day by day.

The IOC remains fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage; and any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive.

The IOC encourages all athletes to continue to prepare for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as best they can. We will keep supporting the athletes by consulting with them and their respective NOCs, and by providing them with the latest information and developments, which are accessible for athletes worldwide on the Athlete365 website and via their respective NOCs and IFs.

The IOC has confidence that the many measures being taken by many authorities around the world will help contain the situation of the COVID-19 virus. In this context, the IOC welcomes the support of the G7 leaders as expressed by Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, who said: “I want to hold the Olympics and Paralympics perfectly, as proof that the human race will conquer the new coronavirus, and I gained support for that from the G-7 leaders.”

We will continue to act in a responsible way and have agreed the following overriding principles about the staging of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020:

1. To protect the health of everyone involved and to support the containment of the virus.

2. To safeguard the interests of the athletes and of Olympic sport.

The IOC will continue to monitor the situation 24/7. Already in mid-February, a task force was set up consisting of the IOC, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Japanese authorities and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

The purpose of the task force is to ensure coordinated actions by all stakeholders. It has the mission to keep a constant appraisal of the situation to form the basis for the ongoing operational planning and necessary adaptations. The task force also monitors the implementation of the various actions decided. The IOC will continue to follow the guidance of this task force. The IOC’s decision will not be determined by financial interests, because thanks to its risk management policies and insurance it will in any case be able to continue its operations and accomplish its mission to organise the Olympic Games.

A number of measures have been taken.

The format of all the test events in March and April has been altered to allow for the testing of essential Games elements; the lighting of the Olympic torch in Greece and subsequent elements of the Torch Relay in Japan are being adapted; the entire Games preparation supply chain has been analysed; and alternative plans are in place in the event of anticipated disruption.

At the same time, the topics and issues which were identified by the IOC Coordination Commission for the Games as priorities continue to retain the full attention of Tokyo 2020, the IOC and the Olympic stakeholders. In this respect, work is ongoing for the preparation of athletics road events in Sapporo; heat countermeasures continue to be detailed and refined on a sport-by-sport basis; and transport and crowd movement planning remain a key focus of attention.

Concerning the next meetings, especially the upcoming Coordination Commission visit and various project reviews, adjustments have been made to the agenda and participation. While the activities remain planned on the same dates, the participation in Tokyo will be reduced while ensuring the Coordination Commission members can attend the most important part of the meeting by teleconference. The same will be done for any subsequent visits until further notice.

The day-to-day work between all organisations continues, although on a remote basis.

Currently, all Olympic Movement stakeholders and the athletes face significant challenges around securing the final qualification places for the Games. In some countries, athletes are even finding it hard to continue their regular training schedules. The IOC is reassured by the solidarity and flexibility shown by the athletes, the IFs and the NOCs, that are managing these challenges across a number of sports.

To date, 57 per cent of the athletes are already qualified for the Games. For the remaining 43 per cent of places, the IOC will work with the IFs to make any necessary and practical adaptations to their respective qualification systems for Tokyo 2020, in line with the following principles:

1. All quota places that have already been allocated to date remain allocated to the NOCs and athletes that obtained them.

2. The possibility remains to use existing and scheduled qualification events, wherever these still have fair access for all athletes and teams.

3. All necessary adaptations to qualification systems and all allocation of remaining places will be:

a) based on on-field results (e.g. IF ranking or historical results); and

b) reflect where possible the existing principles of the respective qualification systems (e.g. use of rankings or continental/regional specific event results).

Any increase in athlete quotas will be considered on a case-by-case basis under exceptional circumstances, with the support of the Organising Committee Tokyo 2020.

The IFs will make proposals for any adaptations to their respective qualification systems based on the principles outlined above. The adaptations need to be implemented sport by sport because of the differences between qualification systems. The IOC has already put in place an accelerated procedure to solve this situation. Any necessary revisions to the Tokyo 2020 qualification systems by sport will be published by the beginning of April 2020 and communicated to all stakeholders.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “The health and well-being of all those involved in the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is our number-one concern. All measures are being taken to safeguard the safety and interests of athletes, coaches and support teams. We are an Olympic community; we support one another in good times and in difficult times. This Olympic solidarity defines us as a community.”

The President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), Francesco Ricci Bitti, added: “I would like to thank all those involved in the organisation of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and all the athletes and the International Federations for their great flexibility. We share the same approach and the same principles as the IOC, and we are as committed as the IOC to successful Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. We will keep in touch and have further consultations with all stakeholders concerned.”

After its consultations with the IFs, the IOC will follow up with the NOCs and the athletes’ representatives in the coming days.

*This communique was unanimously approved by the IOC EB and all Olympic Summer Sports Federations.

March 13, 2020

Dear U.S. Olympic and Paralympic community:

As we face the realities of events around the world and country being cancelled, postponed or altered, I want the athletes of Team USA, and the Olympic and Paralympic community that supports them, to know that as we are called on to make important decisions, your health and well-being is our foremost concern.

So, here is what we know today. Despite the ever-changing nature of coronavirus, its global impact, and the hypothetical scenarios that have entered the conversation, the USOPC has not been given any information to suggest that the Tokyo 2020 Games will not go ahead as scheduled and as planned. We, like the athletes who are training to compete at their very best in Tokyo, are focused on being prepared to support our Olympic and Paralympic teams in Japan.

We continue to receive updates from domestic and international experts, and we are working with our own internal sport medicine team and coronavirus working group, and importantly, an Infectious Disease Advisory Group comprised of experts that is informing our work and providing important guidance.

We are committed to working with the NGBs as they make decisions about their events, and determine appropriate next steps related to team trials. In light of the changing event schedules, both internationally and domestically, we are working directly with athletes and NGB representatives to maintain fair and transparent team selection processes for Tokyo.

It remains our great hope that Team USA athletes – having dedicated an incalculable amount of time and effort in hopes of representing the United States in the Olympic and Paralympic Games – will have the opportunity to live out their athletic dreams in Tokyo.

At this point there are many more questions than answers – but it’s important that we feel empowered as leaders in the Olympic and Paralympic community to ask tough questions and be prepared to make important decisions.

To that end, we are cancelling all Team USA fan events scheduled through the end of April, including the 100 Day Out celebration in Times Square on April 15.

Rest assured we will continue to take every precaution necessary to ensure the health and safety of Team USA athletes and the communities we call home. That is our commitment – and it will be reflected in every decision we make.

With great appreciation for your support of Team USA,

Sarah Hirshland

Chief Executive Officer

IOC statement on the Olympic flame lighting and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

With the lighting of the Olympic flame in Olympia today, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirms its full commitment to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. We remain absolutely in line with our Japanese hosts in our commitment to delivering safe Olympic Games in July this year.

At the same time, the world is facing challenges that are also impacting sport. But with 19 weeks before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the many measures being taken now by authorities all around the world give us confidence and keep us fully committed to delivering Olympic Games that can bring the world together in peace.

The IOC is proud of the solidarity and flexibility shown by the athletes, the International Federations and the National Olympic Committees, which are managing challenges with the qualification system in a number of sports. We are addressing them together. The IOC is cooperating closely with all those concerned and demonstrating all the flexibility needed to adapt the qualification systems. We are also working with all other stakeholders (including Rights-Holding Broadcasters and sponsors) in order to address the current situation.

We remain in close contact with the World Health Organization (WHO), the host city of Tokyo, the government of Japan and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee through our joint task force, which was set up in mid-February. The IOC will continue to follow the advice of WHO, as the leading United Nations agency on this topic.

 

Communiqué du CIO concernant l'allumage de la flamme olympique et les Jeux de Tokyo 2020

Avec l'allumage de la flamme olympique aujourd'hui à Olympie, le Comité International Olympique (CIO) réaffirme son total engagement à assurer le succès des Jeux Olympiques de Tokyo 2020. Nous demeurons absolument en accord avec nos hôtes japonais dans notre engagement commun à assurer la tenue de Jeux Olympiques sûrs en juillet de cette année.

Dans le même temps, le monde se trouve confronté à des enjeux qui ont également un impact sur le sport. Mais à 19 semaines de la cérémonie d'ouverture des Jeux Olympiques de Tokyo 2020, les nombreuses mesures prises désormais par les autorités à l'échelle planétaire nous donnent confiance et nous maintiennent pleinement engagés à offrir des Jeux Olympiques capables de rassembler le monde dans la paix.

Le CIO est fier de la solidarité et de la flexibilité manifestées par les athlètes, les Fédérations Internationales et les Comités Nationaux Olympiques qui doivent gérer les difficultés liées au processus de qualification dans un certain nombre de sports. Nous abordons ces difficultés ensemble. Le CIO travaille en étroite coopération avec toutes les parties concernées et fait preuve de toute la souplesse nécessaire pour adapter le processus de qualification. Nous travaillons également avec tous les autres partenaires (notamment les diffuseurs détenteurs de droits et les sponsors) pour faire face à la situation actuelle.

Nous restons en contact étroit avec l'Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS), la ville hôte de Tokyo, le gouvernement du Japon et le comité d'organisation de Tokyo 2020 par l'intermédiaire de notre groupe de travail conjoint qui a été mis en place à la mi-février. Le CIO continuera à suivre les recommandations de l'OMS, en tant que principale agence des Nations Unies faisant autorité en la matière.

Monday, March 9, 2020

From: Sarah Hirshland

Dear Team USA Athletes -

I am writing to you today with notification that out of an abundance of caution, and in an effort to limit any potential exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have decided to not hold the 2020 Team USA Media Summit in Los Angeles next week.

As many of you know, the purpose of the media summit, held before every Games since Nagano 1988, is to efficiently connect the great personalities of Team USA with the media who can then tell their stories and share them with audiences around the world. It’s an event that we look forward to hosting, and an event that is always met with a positive response by athletes and media alike.

However, like so many other organizations, teams and leagues, we are reckoning with the impact of the coronavirus. As we weighed this decision, we relied on the expert opinion of our USOPC medical staff, our Infectious Disease Advisory Group, CDC professionals and local leaders, and came to the joint conclusion that the potential of spread or infection, however remote or unlikely, could have a real impact on the athletes of Team USA.

With 136 days to the opening of the Olympic Games, and 168 to the opening of the Paralympic Games, that simply isn’t a risk worth taking.

We know how important this event is to each of you, and our team is working hard to redirect our efforts to create a more virtual experience for the members of the media to get to know you. We are also considering options for recreating opportunities for athletes and media at a later time should the environment allow for a safe opportunity to do so. You can expect to hear from our team soon with these plans and ideas.

Our focus, same as all of you, remains on being ready for the Games. Given the current concerns, postponing and/or reformatting this event is one way we can support that priority and also maintain our commitment to the health and safety of Team USA and the media members, USOPC and NGB staff, and volunteers who also deserve to work in the safest possible environment.

We will continue to monitor the environment and will make necessary changes to keep us all safe and healthy. If you have not heard directly from us, you should assume we are charging forward toward Tokyo 2020 as planned.

The magic of the Games is the coming together of the world’s greatest athletes for a celebration of sport and peace. We expect to be in Tokyo this summer, and we will take every precaution to keep Team USA athletes safe as we prepare.

I regret that we have had to adapt our plans and thank you in advance for your understanding and patience. I wish you the best in your preparation and look forward to updating you soon with opportunities to tell the story of your personal and athletic journeys.

Sincerely,

Sarah Hirshland

Thursday, March 5, 2020

From: Jonathan Finnoff

Dear U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Community –

By way of this email, I want to introduce myself as the new Chief Medical Officer of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. I look forward to working with all of you in the coming weeks and months, and jointly creating a healthy and safe environment that offers outstanding care for Team USA athletes.

While I am excited about the future, I want to assure you my focus is on the present, and today I am writing to you to share the latest information regarding the Coronavirus outbreak.

First and foremost, I want to provide an update on Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. Inclusive of the IOC executive board update on March 3 and IPC communication earlier today, we have been given no information to suggest we should alter our preparations ahead of the opening of the Olympic Games on July 24, 2020. Rest assured that the USOPC remains focused on providing world class support for the Olympic and Paralympic delegations that will travel to Japan this summer, and we will take every precaution necessary to keep Team USA athletes healthy and safe. We will also, of course, share any updated information we receive from the IOC, IPC and Tokyo 2020.

In the meantime, as the status of the Coronavirus outbreak is dynamic and ever changing, The USOPC Infectious Disease Advisory Group – comprised of infectious disease experts from exceptional institutions around the country, and an internal multi-departmental USOPC Coronavirus working group – remains engaging and working closely with the CDC, WHO, and IOC’s medical staff to regularly obtain up to date information, disseminate this information, and establish policies and procedures related to this infectious disease.

Attached is an informational letter for athletes and staff and we will continue posting all of our communications and resource documents at Team USA Coronavirus Updates.

In addition, the following online resources are available, including: WHO Coronavirus Website, CDC Coronavirus Website. The IOC has also developed specific advice for athletes, including a statement from the IOC Medical and Scientific Director, Dr. Richard Budgett. We encourage you to follow the travel, prevention, testing, and treatment recommendations outlined by the CDC.

We recommend the following prevention measures for all athletes and staff. These including social distancing, frequent handwashing, avoiding contact with your face, covering your mouth with a tissue or your elbow, staying home if you are sick, and regularly cleaning frequently touched surfaces. It is also best practice to ensure immunizations are up to date to reduce the risk of seasonal flu infections.

Additional recommendations for NGB organizational leadership include:

  • Establishing an internal working group – including expert external perspective where possible
  • Open a line of communication to your local public health authority
  • Provide consistent messaging to your constituents
  • Identify health care facilities that are prepared to evaluate and treat people with suspected/confirmed Coronavirus
  • If you are planning to host an event, be sure to follow the key planning considerations and guidelines for mass gatherings in the context of COVID-19 created by the CDC and WHO

We believe that by following these recommendations, we can positively contribute to the health and safety of our Olympic and Paralympic community.

If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Meanwhile, find additional pertinent updates below.

Thanks,

Jonathan Finnoff, DO, FACSM, FAMSSM
USOPC Chief Medical Officer

Below are the updates as of March 5, 2020:

  • The USOPC supports the current CDC recommendation that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to the following destinations: China, Iran, South Korea and Italy.
  • Additionally, the we are recommending no non-mission critical travel to Hong Kong.
  • Note that those leaving South Korea and Italy to travel to the U.S. will be screened at the airport before being allowed to board. 
  • In regards to travel to the United States, we advise awareness of DHS Arrival Restrictions for all non-U.S. citizen athletes and officials. The current instructions state that in general, foreign nationals (other than immediate family of U.S. citizens, permanent residents and flight crew) who have traveled in China and Iran within 14 days of their arrival, will be denied entry into the United States.
  • As always, we ask that you pay close attention to event cancellations and remain in close contact with you sport performance teams here at the USOPC. Event cancellations are ongoing – and we will continue to monitor domestic and global impact. We will share updates through our sport performance and sports medicine teams as information becomes available.

Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2020

From:  Rick Adams and Nicole Deal
To:      USOPC staff, USOPP staff
Re:     COVID-19 Update

Colleagues,

In effort to share the latest information on the coronavirus (COVID-19), below is an update from the USOPC coronavirus working group.

We have seen a significant increase in precautionary positions taken in both Japan and Korea over the past three days – along with confirmations of additional outbreaks in Italy and Iran.

While we don’t yet know the full impact of the new developments on Team USA athletes and staff, we have been informed of event cancelations in Italy and South Korea, and we are awaiting word on others.

Team USA athletes and staff should continue to adhere to the CDC advisory as it relates to outbound travel from the United States to China and South Korea. Additionally, the CDC also advises enhanced precaution when traveling to Japan, Italy and Iran. The USOPC is recommending travel to Hong Kong and Singapore for mission-critical purposes only.

For all inbound travel, current DHS instructions are posted and have been made available to our international NOC and IF counterparts.

Looking ahead to the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, we continue to prepare in earnest to support the U.S. delegations this summer.

  • With less than 150 days to the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, we remain 100% focused on maintaining our high standards of Games preparedness.
  • Our medical staff is liaising with domestic experts, and are in close communication with the IOC medical staff.
  • We will take every precautionary measure necessary to keep Team USA athletes and staff safe during the Games, and will continue to share updates such as they become available. We want every Team USA athlete and staff member to feel informed and empowered.
  • Again, we appreciate NGB assistance in gathering information related to your sport’s upcoming training and competition. It has helped, and continues to help, us monitor the real and potential impact (specifically related to event cancellations) that the spread of the coronavirus is having on both Team USA athletes and the global athlete population. We will share updates through our sport performance and sports medicine teams and ask that you feel empowered to share new information with us.

As we gather facts and learn more about the virus and the impact on global sport, we will share all available information with this group, as well as updating our dedicated site at TeamUSA.org.

Please share with all athletes and staff, and do not hesitate to be in touch with questions.

Thanks,

Rick Adams and Nicole Deal

Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020

From:  Rick Adams
To:      NGB leadership, high performance and medical staffs
Cc:     Sarah Hirshland, Denise Parker, Bahati VanPelt, Julie Dussliere, Dustin Nabhan, Kelly Skinner, Finbarr Kirwan, Nicole Deal, Luella Chavez D’Angelo
Re:     Coronavirus & USOPC preparedness update

All –

As you are well aware, the coronavirus continues to be an evolving global health issue – and the spread of the virus continues to be a disruptive force in the global sports community.

The health and safety of Team USA athletes and sport staff is our primary concern, and we remain in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for guidance and instruction. As new information becomes available, we will share it via email and post to the Team USA Coronavirus Resource page.

Below are the updates as of February 18, 2020:

  • As we communicated earlier, the USOPC supports the current CDC recommendation of avoiding non-essential travel to China. In an abundance of caution, and in addition to CDC recommendations, we also recommend temporarily restricting non-essential travel to Hong Kong and Singapore as well. 
  • In regards to travel to the United States, we advise awareness and support current DHS instructions for all non-U.S. citizen athletes and officials. The current instructions state that in general, foreign nationals (other than immediate family of U.S. citizens, permanent residents and flight crew) who have traveled in China within 14 days of their arrival, will be denied entry into the United States.
  • We appreciate your assistance in gathering information related to your sport’s upcoming training and competition. It helps us better measure the real and potential impact (specifically related to event cancellations) that the spread of the coronavirus is having on both Team USA athletes and the global athlete population, and better map out any necessary contingency planning. This process is ongoing. Moving forward, we will share all updates through our sport performance and sports medicine teams, and ask that you feel empowered to share information with us. 

Lastly, we know you already are fielding, or likely will field, questions from athletes, families, fans and the media about potential impact on the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

We are in frequent and close communication with the IOC medical staff – who are coordinating with the World Health Organization, Tokyo 2020 and the Japanese government. At this point, we have been given no reason to deviate from any of our Tokyo Games planning and preparation, though rest assured we are prepared to take every precautionary measure necessary to keep Team USA athletes and staff safe should the situation change. 

Please update your athletes and staff accordingly, and do not hesitate to be in touch with questions.

Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020

From: Rick Adams, chief of sport performance, USOPC
To: NGB executives
Cc: Sarah Hirshland, Denise Parker, Bahati VanPelt, Julie Dussliere, Dustin Nabhan, Kelly Skinner, Finbarr Kirwan, Nicole Deal, Luella Chavez D’Angelo
Re: Coronavirus & USOPC preparedness

All –

As you are all well aware, the spread and impact of the Coronavirus is a primary concern of health professionals around the world and, by extension, a concern that extends to all of us working in the global sport movement.

I am writing today with an update based on our ongoing collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) medical teams.

The CDC currently recommends no non-essential travel to China and we at the USOPC are fully supporting that recommendation as it relates to all Team USA athletes, as well as NGB and USOPC staff. This guidance will remain in place until future notice – and any updates to the guidance will be shared to this group and posted to a dedicated resource page at TeamUSA.org/Coronavirus.

We anticipate further event cancelations over the coming weeks, so please work with your respective International Federations, event organizers, high performance teams and athletes on necessary contingency plans.

Rest assured we are taking all appropriate steps to ensure Team USA athletes at the USOPC training centers and training independently are informed and supported by staff. USOPC medical staff are prepared to care for, as well as offer advance advice and assistance to, athletes and staff.

I ask that you use all available channels to communicate this information to your staff and athlete population, and continue to exercise caution and good judgement in your planning around international travel and event participation.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff for assistance.

Thanks,
Rick 

 

Primary USOPC Contact:
Dustin Nabhan, vice president, sports medicine, USOPC
dustin.nabhan@usopc.org
+1 719-306-5955

For the latest information, visit the CDC's Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

 

U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee Coronavirus Information for Team USA Athletes and Support Staff

Introduction
Coronavirus is a family of viruses that can cause respiratory infections similar to influenza or the “flu.” Coronavirus can be found in both humans and animals, and occasionally, coronaviruses found in animals can spread to people and cause respiratory infections. Previous examples of this include Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The current coronavirus outbreak is being caused by a virus named SARS CoV-2 and the disease it causes is coronavirus disease 2019, or “COVID-19.” This virus appears to have originated in bats, but we aren’t sure what type of animal transmitted it to humans. The outbreak began in a seafood and live animal market in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The virus was first identified in a patient on Dec. 30, 2019. China implemented a vigorous public health effort to try and limit the spread of the virus, rapidly identify those who are infected and implement appropriate supportive treatments to reduce the number of deaths associated with the disease. While the number of COVID-19 cases in China rapidly expanded in the early phase of the outbreak, they peaked between Jan. 23-27, and have been declining since that time.

Unfortunately, outside of China, the number of countries with patients who have been infected with COVID-19, and the number of patients and deaths associated with the virus have steadily increased. The CDC provides up to date information regarding the countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases. It is apparent that the widespread presence of COVID-19 increases the likelihood of exposure to this disease. Therefore, it is important for athletes and staff to be aware of the situation, take appropriate precautions to prevent infection, understand when they should seek medical treatment, and what resources are available to keep informed.

What is the big deal about COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus. What that means is our immune systems haven’t been exposed to it previously and aren’t very good at fighting the virus. We don’t currently have a vaccine for COVID-19, and it will take about a year to develop one that can be used safely. This means we can’t rely on a vaccine in the near term to prevent COVID-19 infections. Finally, none of our current anti-viral medications work on COVID-19. Our current treatment is supportive care, which means treating the symptoms. All of this means that COVID-19 has the potential to infect a large number of people and we haven’t developed an effective treatment for it. This is why it is so important to prevent the spread of the infection.

How does it spread?
The virus is spread through respiratory droplets and contact with surfaces that have the virus on it. Respiratory droplets are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can land on the mouths or noses of people around them, or on a surface. If a person touches the droplets on a surface and then touches their mouth, nose, or eyes, they can become infected. It may also be on the hands of the person who is coughing or sneezing. If they then touch another person or a surface, they can transmit the virus to that person or surface.

Although it is possible that the disease may be transmitted by someone before they have symptoms, it is thought that they are most contagious when they are symptomatic.

Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms develop between 2 and 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms typically include fever (> 101), fatigue, cough (dry or productive), and shortness of breath. Other less common symptoms include sore throat, headache, muscle and joint pain, chills, nausea or vomiting, congestion or diarrhea.

When to go to the doctor
You should be evaluated by a doctor if you have been with people known to have COVID-19 or live in an area or recently traveled to or from an area with known cases of COVID-19 and you subsequently feel sick, have a fever, cough or shortness of breath.

Be sure to call ahead to let the health care team know that you are coming to see them and that you have symptoms suggestive of a respiratory infection so they can prepare for your arrival and take the necessary steps to protect health care workers and other patients.

When you arrive at the clinic or hospital, they will probably have you wear a face mask to reduce the risk of transmitting your infection. They will also instruct you on appropriate cough etiquette (ie: cough into a tissue or your elbow). You should wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water if you cough on your hands and frequently use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. You will also typically be placed in a room away from other people.

Diagnosis
In the United States, health care providers are taking oral and nasal swabs and collecting phlegm from coughing and sending it to the CDC for testing.

Treatment
At this time, there are no known treatments for COVID-19 beyond supportive measures, which include treatments that reduce symptoms (i.e.: acetaminophen for fever, cough suppressants, decongestants, etc.). For more severe cases, patients may need extra oxygen or to be on a ventilator to help them breath.

Disease Severity
In China, 80% of people with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, 13.8% have severe disease, and 6.1% are critical, with a death rate of approximately 3.8%. People at the highest risk are those over 60 years of age, and those with underlying medical problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease or cancer. Children under 19 years of age are rarely infected (only 2.4% of cases) and typically have less severe symptoms.

Prevention
Since there currently isn’t a treatment for COVID-19, the best thing you can do is prevent getting infected. The following are ways you can reduce your risk of becoming infected:

  1. Avoid getting closer than 3 feet to anyone coughing or sneezing.
  2.  Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds (i.e. time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice) or use hand sanitizer that has 60-95% alcohol. This is especially important after going to the bathroom, before eating, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  4. Cover your mouth with a tissue or your elbow if you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash, and then wash your hands.
  5. Stay home if you are sick.
  6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly (i.e. keyboard, airplane seat armrests and tray table, and door knobs).
  7. Monitor the WHO and CDC websites for travel advisories and follow their recommendations.

Available Resources:
WHO Coronavirus Website
CDC Coronavirus Website

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