A statewide survey of New Jersey athletic trainers who participated in voluntary summer workouts provided new data into the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on high school sports in the state.
According to the Bridgewater Courier News, the Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey conducted the survey, which gathered information from the summer recess period from July 13 to Aug. 28. Overall, 152 licensed athletic trainers whose schools held summer workouts participated in the survey. Those respondents provide care for some 30,000 high school student-athletes from communities of varying sizes throughout the state.
Of those surveyed, 33 percent identified possible COVID cases through screening protocols, while 18 percent of respondents reported they had identified patients who tested positive for COVID-19.
23 percent of respondents said they had found a reason to shut down a workout pod due to COVID concerns, while 12 percent said a sports program was actually shut down.
Overall, 54 student-athletes under the respondents care tested positive for COVID-19, for a positivity rate of .0018 percent.
“This data suggests that we need to continue to be vigilant as we move forward getting back to some semblance of normalcy with athletic participation in the secondary school setting,” ATSNJ President Kevin Briles, the athletic trainer at Delsea High School, told USA Today Network New Jersey.
“These schools are looking toward the NJSIAA for direction to maintain a safe environment for athletes in New Jersey. We are more than happy to collaborate with the NJSIAA to support them in continuing to develop these policies and procedures.”