New regulations implemented for athletic trainers during COVID-19

Kristen Dansereau, Sports Manager

The adjusted fall season is in full swing at Roger Williams University and staff in the athletic training rooms have been adapting to changes accordingly.

With just one trainer and five athletes allowed in an athletic training room at once, trainers Cory Viveiros, Kristina Keddie and Jake Rezendes have dispersed into separate rooms to treat their assigned teams. This regulation also helps keep at least two athletic trainers able to work in the event one gets COVID-19 or has to quarantine.

“This does create a challenge at times because of location and because of the volume of athletes we see. We used to be able to work together and help treat each other’s athletes but now we can only treat the teams we cover,” Viveiros said.

Athletic teams who are assigned to Keddie had their training room moved to the separate end of the gym in the training room previously used by other schools that come in for games.

“In the past, all teams were used to reporting to our downstairs athletic training room, closer to the gym, the pool and a few locker rooms,” Keddie said. “I think the challenge has been getting the athletes familiar with reporting to their own [respective] spaces.”

The biggest challenge proposed is constantly keeping up with every protocol as a whirlwind of athletes rotates through the training rooms.

“This includes keeping the room as clean as possible throughout the day, making sure athletes follow the correct signage and enter and exit correctly,” Viveiros said. “Making sure that we stick to the proper numbers in each room.”

“At first, it was an adjustment being relocated to our second athletic training room upstairs, but after a few weeks it’s been fine,” Keddie said. “I have all the same equipment, supplies and access to everything the other main athletic training room has.”

They are also limited to the type of equipment they use and the use of personal protective equipment while physically working on athletes.

Athletes are required to make appointments as the trainers can no longer accept walk-ins, besides regular treatment before practice. This regulation helps trainers maintain the limit on the number of athletes allowed in the room at once.

“Any athletes that are being treated for an injury, need to heat or stretch prior to practice, they are allowed to come in to do so one hour before their scheduled practice time,” Keddie said.

Players get their temperatures checked before every practice to ensure their health beyond regular COVID-19 testing, either by a trainer or coach.

A routine cleaning process has always been a priority of the trainers.

“The cleaning process has always included cleaning treatment tables after each individual use, cleaning rehabilitation equipment before and after each use, modality equipment and any other multi-touch surfaces,” Keddie said.

Viveiros and Keddie believe this new routine of treating student athletes has become beneficial amid the current situation.

“As with everything [during] COVID, it is a fluid process and what may be working one week we might have to change and adapt the following week,” Viveiros said.

The new regulations and processes have been working well for the trainers and athletes, as everyone in the athletic department works together to adjust where it is needed and keep sports in practice.

“I believe some of the policies and new set up of athletic training rooms will be here to stay moving forward, even after COVID-19,” Keddie said.