Sports medicine staff adds COVID tests to list of duties

Student Athlete performs a Covid test on himself.

By Michele Barletta

The Quincy University Sports Medicine staff has been kept busy over the past year. While students adapt to a new way of campus life and college sports, athletic trainers take on additional roles to make sure students stay healthy.

As sports return to QU this semester, every team is in season, meaning the athletic training staff have their hands full working games and treating injured athletes. Head Athletic Trainer, DJ Elmore, believes that while a lot has changed over the past year, a lot of what they do, has stayed the same.

“I think the biggest thing that’s changed is that we’re looking more at disease prevention,” Elmore said.

In addition to what they already do, the athletic trainers find themselves having to disinfect equipment, checking student-athletes symptoms, taking their temperatures daily, and conducting the Covid tests.

The extra work done by the athletic trainers has not gone unnoticed. David Fitzgerald, member of men’s soccer team, says that everyone in his team is grateful for the work the staff members are doing.

“If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be having a season right now, so I think everyone is really grateful for all the extra work they’ve been doing,” Fitzgerald said.

QU’s covid protocol stems from the NCAA’s guidelines, which means that athletes from different sports, have different protocols to follow. The NCAA has labeled each sport either high, intermediate, or low risk.

“For high risk sports which we have currently are football and basketball, they do once a week testing,” Elmore said.

However, intermediate and low risk sports have only 25% of their team tested every second week. According to the NCAA, these tests can be either antigen or PCR testing.

Elmore explains that by making the switch to rapid tests, there is less chance of transmission while students wait for their results.

“Typically you have to wait a couple of days for the results, which means they could infect their roommates,” Elmore said.

When athletes are selected for testing, they will have to report to the Health and Fitness Center as early as 6 a.m. Elmore explained that this is the only time they are able to get everyone from the different sports there at the same time, to go ahead with the testing.

“I am tired of getting tested, but I understand that if we want to play we have to keep doing it,” Fitzgerald said.

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