Resumption of Sport at the United States Olympic and Paralympic Training Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ankit B. Shah*, Dustin Nabhan, Robert Chapman, George Chiampas, Jonathan Drezner, J. Tod Olin, David Taylor, Jonathan T. Finnoff, Aaron L. Baggish

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In this brief report, we describe the safety of reopening US Olympic and Paralympic Training facilities (USOPTFs) during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic from July 2020 through October 2020. We evaluated the prevalence of COVID-19 infection at the time of reentry and cardiopulmonary sequelae of COVID-19 in elite athletes. All athletes returning to a USOPTF were required to go through a reentry protocol consisting of an electronic health history, a 6-day quarantine including twice-daily symptom surveys, COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction and antibody testing, physical examination, 12-lead electrocardiogram, high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I, and pulmonary function testing. Athletes with current or prior COVID-19 infection also underwent an echocardiogram, cardiology consultation, and additional testing as indicated. All athletes followed rigorous infection prevention measures and minimized contact with the outside community following reentry. At the time of this report, 301 athletes completed the reentry protocol among which 14 (4.7%) tested positive for active (positive polymerase chain reaction test, n = 3) or prior (positive antibody test, n = 11) COVID-19 infection. During the study period, this cohort accrued 14,916 days living and training at USOPTFs. Only one (0.3%) athlete was subsequently diagnosed with a new COVID-19 infection. No cardiopulmonary pathology attributable to COVID-19 was detected. Our findings suggest that residential elite athlete training facilities can successfully resume activity during the COVID-19 pandemic when strict reentry and infection prevention measures are followed. Dissemination of our reentry quarantine and screening protocols with COVID-19 mitigation measures may assist the global sports and medical community develop best practices for reopening of similar training centers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-363
Number of pages5
JournalSports Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • COVID-19
  • elite athlete training
  • myocardial injury
  • return-to-play

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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