Usain Bolt receives positive coronavirus test result after attending mask-free party

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has tested positive for the coronavirus. A recent video shows Bolt at a large party where he and others were not wearing masks.
(Grant Pollard / Invision / Associated Press)

Track and field superstar Usain Bolt has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Jamaica’s minister of health announced Monday night. The news came after the eight-time Olympic gold medalist was seen in video at a large party where he and most of the other attendees do not appear to be wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

Bolt posted a video on social media earlier Monday saying he tested for the virus two days earlier and was asymptomatic but still self-quarantining at his Jamaica home while awaiting the results.

Hours later, Jamaica’s minister of health confirmed reports that the test had come back positive.


A look back at Times photographer Wally Skalij’s coverage of Usain Bolt at the Summer Olympics in 2016 at Rio de Janeiro, 2012 at London and 2008 at Beijing.

Aug. 5, 2017

“It is now public knowledge that Mr. Bolt has tested positive,” Christopher Tufton told reporters. “He has been formally notified, I’m told by the authorities. It triggers an approach to questioning, interrogation if you will, which we follow through with contact tracing.”

Those conducting the contact tracing might have their hands full, judging from video circulating on social media this weekend reportedly from a bash celebrating the sprinter’s 34th birthday. (Bolt is wearing a black tank top and backward white cap in the video.)

Bolt’s birthday was Friday. He took a work-related coronavirus test the following day, the 100- and 200-meter world record holder said in his video Monday.

“I am trying to be responsible, so I am going to stay in and stay away from my friends,” Bolt said.