Dec 29, 2020
Boise State Trainers Navigating Athletes Through Pandemic

On the campus of Boise State University, the school’s athletic trainers have had much more on their plates than in previous years. Ever since the return of sports at Boise State, COVID-19 protocols have been put into place in order for athletic programs to continue with their activities. As BSU athletics have continued to practice and prepare for their seasons, the responsibility of upholding these protocols falls on a specific group of individuals.

A recent article from The Arbiter Online caught up with the Broncos head athletic trainer, Marc Paul, to discuss the differences the 2020-21 athletic season has brought thus far.

boise state
Photo: Ken Lund / Creative Commons

Below is an excerpt from the Arbiter Online’s article.

“The constant change is, and continues to be the hardest to adapt to,” Paul said. “Since this is a novel coronavirus and has not been seen before, everything that happens is a first.”

Pre-pandemic, a typical day for an athletic trainer would include assessing individuals in order to avoid injuries or illnesses, assist in athlete recovery, and evaluate readiness to play. Their purpose is to provide care and advocate for student-athletes’ health. They always put the student-athlete first in making decisions that will impact their overall health and well being.

Although these daily duties are still a big portion of their job, athletic trainers also handle anything COVID-19 related. This includes coordinating testing, administering tests, contact tracing, and assisting in the return to play process if a student-athlete tests positive.

“Even though the pandemic has impacted us greatly, our job remains the same,” said football and men’s tennis athletic trainer Nicholas Do. “We are still going to be an advocate for our student-athletes health and we will continue to do so while abiding by the COVID-19 guidelines and protocols. We may do things differently, but our goal has remained the same.”

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As cases in Idaho have increased, multiple student-athletes and teams have had to quarantine due to testing positive or contact tracing. In these situations, athletic trainers evaluate and participate in making decisions based on the athlete’s safety.

“The national governing boards such as the CDC, WHO, and other medical organizations are constantly updating their guidelines and recommendations, and we have to adapt to those,” Paul said.

To read the full article from The Arbiter Online, click here

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