Roles of high school athletic trainers change amidst pandemic

Posted at 6:40 AM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-10 07:29:53-04

WYOMING, Ohio — While government officials continue to work on how to resume high school sports for the fall season, high school athletic trainers have seen their roles shift during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's been a lot of just learning on the fly," Alli King, an athletic trainer with Beacon Orthopedics, said. "A lot of cleaning and just educating the coaches and the athletes on what they need to do..."

Athletic trainers usually help make sure athletes are in top physical health so they can continue playing their sport. Now, their roles include new responsibilities like checking the temperatures of all athletes and staff members, as well as keeping track of which athletes missed a practice.

"We do a survey everyday and trace what all athletes and coaches were here at practices for each practice, each day," King said. "If for some reason we have an exposure, I go back and see the last time that person was there and who all could have been exposed."

And all the work King and athletic trainers have put in to make sure their athletes are healthy hasn't gone unnoticed.

"She led the charge, certainly with our coaches, and that's really made the difference in being able to pivot constantly," Jan Wilking, Wyoming High School's athletic director, said.

However, some schools have laid off or furloughed their athletic trainers. King thinks those layoffs are a mistake.

"I think this is the wrong time to do it," King said. "This is important. You need more hands on deck."