COVID Brings New Safeguards

The New Face of Athletics
Posted on 06/15/2020
Image of Athletic Trainers(Michael Beaven for Ohio.com/Akron Beacon Journal)

Athletes and coaches are still getting acclimated to the return of workouts on high school grounds amid the conronavirus pandemic.

So are athletic trainers after high school sports came to a halt in March.

Dr. Joe Congeni, the director of Sports Medicine at Akron Children’s Hospital, said this past week that sports medicine professionals have evolved from dealing with shoulder, knee and ankle injuries to concussions and now an “unusual infection.”

COVID-19 has proven to be deadly around the world, and a lot of unknowns remain as data continues to be analyzed and researched.

Since June 1 in Ohio, athletes have been allowed to exercise at their high school under the supervision of coaches and certified athletic trainers.

“Our trainers are really key in a role that is called infection control specialists,” said Congeni, the Archbishop Hoban athletics doctor.

Congeni also consults with doctors and trainers that are affiliated with area schools through an Akron Children’s Hospital contract.

About 30 schools in Northeast Ohio have an athletic trainer through Children’s, including Buchtel, East, Ellet, Field, Firestone, Highland, Hoban, Hudson, Kenmore-Garfield, Mogadore, North, Our Lady of the Elms, Rootstown, Springfield, St. Vincent-St. Mary and Woodridge. Copley and Cuyahoga Falls also receive trainer assistance from Children’s.

Schools started Phase I earlier this month where there is no shared equipment by athletes. Some schools are set to start Phase II on Monday, which, for example, will allow the passing of a football, a basketball or a soccer ball among teammates. Read more here >>.

Image of Athletic Trainers
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