Late Monday, Jamaica’s health ministry reported that Usain Bolt has tested positive for COVID-19. Bolt posted a video to Instagram Monday afternoon — several hours before news broke of his results — to silence the rumours that he was COVID-positive, saying he had taken a test and was still awaiting the results. “Just to be safe, I quarantined myself and [I’m] just taking it easy,” he said in the video. As it turns out, the rumours were true, and the fastest man in history has COVID-19. Bolt’s positive test comes just days after he reportedly held a mask-free party to celebrate his 34th birthday on August 21.
As reported by the Jamaica Observer, Dr. Christopher Tufton, Jamaica’s minister of health and wellness, confirmed Bolt’s positive test in a virtual press conference. Tufton said Bolt was formally notified of the results and the local authorities have started contact tracing. A number of celebrities and professional athletes are said to have attended Bolt’s party, and while Tufton said he is not aware of visitors to the island breaking quarantine protocol, any new arrivals caught not self-isolating would face consequences.
“The rules apply to everyone and to the extent that we have information, the rules would apply in this case,” he said. Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness was also on the virtual call, and he said police are investigating Bolt’s party to determine whether it adhered to the country’s COVID-19 restrictions.
— Jamaica Observer (@JamaicaObserver) August 25, 2020
Bolt said he was tested on Saturday, the day after his party, and that he was not experiencing any coronavirus symptoms. The Observer article said he apparently took the test ahead of travelling internationally, although where he planned to go was not mentioned. His positive test is one of dozens around Jamaica, which has seen a nationwide surge of COVID-19 in the past week. A few weeks ago, there were about 10 new cases per day on the entire island, but that number has jumped to more than 60 daily cases in the last few days. The country’s total numbers sit at just over 1,600 cases with 16 deaths.