(2/28/20) Statement regarding the novel Coronavirus disease, COVID-19

We are closely monitoring information provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) on current activity and transmission of COVID-19.

U.S. Figure Skating is closely monitoring information provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) on current activity and transmission of COVID-19. We are also in frequent contact with representatives from the International Skating Union (ISU) and U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) regarding recommendations for preparation of and travel to international figure skating events.

At this time, no figure skating events have been postponed or canceled due to COVID-19. U.S. Figure Skating will continue to follow the direction of the CDC, WHO and ISU as the situation develops.

Each individual is strongly encouraged to practice the recommended steps of good hygiene to reduce his or her own exposure to any virus. 

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel virus in the Coronavirus family, first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, Hubei province. For most people, symptoms of COVID-19 are mild and may include fever, fatigue, and cough. In some people, especially older persons and those with chronic medical conditions, the symptoms may be severe and include respiratory distress.  

COVID-19 is transmitted from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, such as from a cough or sneeze. The virus appears to be able to survive for a short period of time on surfaces, which may cause illness from touching the surface with infected particles and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. The illness most often spreads from close contact (within 3 feet) with someone who is ill with symptoms. Most people with COVID-19 recover quickly without any special treatment. However, anyone with cough, fever, and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention and notify their healthcare team of any recent travel.
At this time, the CDC and WHO both recommend the following actions to prevent the spread of illness:

  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough
  • Frequently clean your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (sing the ABCs) or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (if hands are not visibly dirty).
    • Before eating anything, including snacks
    • After using the restroom
    • After coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose
  • Avoid touching your face, mouth, eyes.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue- throw tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • A mask is NOT recommended by the WHO at this time for healthy people and should be reserved for those who are sick with symptoms of cough and fever and for health care workers.

The WHO and CDC recommend following these precautions especially during travel to prevent risk of illness. In the United States, it is far more likely to become sick with the common cold or influenza than COVID-19 at this time.

If you have upcoming international travel, please refer to the most current information from the CDC website regarding your specific destination.

Other important links

It is currently advised to avoid nonessential travel to China and South Korea, and to use enhanced precautions (such as more frequent hand washing) when traveling to Japan, Italy, and Iran. There are no restrictions or travel advisories at this time for other destinations.

We will continue to update this page as new information becomes available as it relates to participation in U.S. Figure Skating or ISU events.

Kristin Abbott, MD, FAAFP
Chair, Sport Science and Medicine Committee