Amid coronavirus, are winter sports safe?

The novel coronavirus has created a “new normal” for everyone this year, affecting nearly everything we do.

With the winter season officially here, and the holiday season fast approaching, some may be wondering: is it safe to play or participate in winter sports this year? And if so, which ones are the safest? 

The good news, says Dr. John Whyte, the chief medical officer of the health website WebMD, is that winter sports are outside, “where it is much harder for COVID to spread.” 

Some winter activities are safer than others, however, with solo sports (think: skiing) being arguably lower-risk. (iStock)

The bad news?

“Because of the cold and intensity of the activity, you breathe pretty hard which could help expel [the] virus,” he told Fox News in an email. 

Some winter activities are safer than others, however, with solo sports (think: skiing) being arguably lower-risk. 


“Balancing that, I’d focus on solo sports — skiing or snowboarding. Ice skating is also good,” said Whyte. 

“One other point — many of these activities you do alone, you travel with groups to find the right spot — since you often drive somewhere for skiing. Keep in mind to limit the number of people you travel with or interact with during breaks,” he said. “You don’t need to wear a mask during the activity but bring it with you in case you come into close contact with other people.”

The best physical activities for limiting the risk of coronavirus infections are the ones you do alone or with members of your household, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Also, avoid sharing equipment, per the CDC. 


Playing contact sports such as hockey with people who live outside of your household raises the possibility of spreading the virus.

“The more people a participant interacts with, the closer the physical interaction, the more sharing of equipment there is by multiple players, and the longer the interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread,” the CDC warns.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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