Fall sports have begun and SIUE Athletics is trying to keep things safe, including establishing extra precautions to prevent the virus from being contracted and having a plan for when someone does test positive.
If someone on a team tests positive, the team is informed so they can all self-isolate. Senior midfielder Angelique Ikeda, of St. Charles, Missouri, plays on SIUE’s women’s soccer team. She said when one of her team members tested positive, the following quarantine affected their practice.
“We had to quarantine for two weeks because there was a case that got brought to the team,” Ikeda said. “That experience in general kind of sucked because it was hard to go out and work out. We couldn’t find a space outside
of our home to work out without putting other people in danger.”
Medical Chief at SIUE Health Service Dr. Kelly Farroll said the main difference in handling a student athlete case versus other cases involves taking their physical activity into consideration.
“A lot of it is very similar. They’re both isolated while they’re sick and while they could be contagious. The only issue is that with athletes, because of the intense cardiac involvement of the athletic activity, it’s more important that they’re monitored when it’s time to consider them resuming athletic activity,” Farroll said.
Practices are kept as distant as possible while still being effective. Assistant Athletic Director for High Performance Mark Jamison said they take plenty of precautions.
“They have to do a symptom questionnaire every day. They have to get a clearance band and go through a temperature check station, and so do the staff and coaches,” Jamison said.
Jamison also said the level of precaution differs depending on whether it’s an indoor or outdoor sport.
“The CDC and WHO deem that there is significantly less risk when you’re outdoors ... most of the sports [teams] wear face coverings while they practice ... they’ll use the whole field and they will spread out and at least
maintain a 6- to 15-foot distance between their athletes,” Jamison said. “In indoor sports, a lot of them are leaning towards individual or small group based practices as opposed to the full team.”
Jamison said as far as reporting the case, the information on a positive test is kept to only these that need to know.
“There’s a formal email sent out from the athletic trainer that involves Health Service, senior administration, the coaches related to whatever athlete might have tested positive and that student athlete,” Jamison said.
Visit SIUE’s COVID-19 page for more information.