ATSNJ Survey Results for NJSIAA COVID-19 Summer Recess Period Released

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The Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey (ATSNJ) announced survey results of licensed athletic trainers employed at New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) member schools participating in the athletic summer recess period. The survey results showed that licensed athletic trainers play a significant role in the implementation and success of COVID-19 protocols in the high school athletics environment.

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"Integral to this recess period are the licensed athletic trainers which are being depended on by school administrators, athletic directors and coaches to help ensure that student-athlete health is monitored and actions are taken to address potential virus-related situations."

The Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey (ATSNJ) announced survey results of 152 licensed athletic trainers employed at New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) member schools participating in the athletic summer recess period during the period of July 13 – August 28. The survey, conducted by the ATSNJ, a professional organization in New Jersey composed of athletic trainers and other health care professionals, highlights the value of athletic trainers in New Jersey secondary schools and evaluates COVID-19 protocols in athletics as our student-athletes resume activities across the state.

“In response to the uncertainty and disruption facing secondary school athletics in the state of New Jersey, the ATSNJ thought it was prudent to collect data from athletic trainers across the state to see how schools have fared so far during the return to sports in the current COVID-19 environment,” said Kevin Briles, President of the ATSNJ.

Survey highlights include:

  • 172 athletic trainers responded in total to the survey.
  • Of the total group that participated in the survey, 152 athletic trainers responded whose schools conducted summer recess athletic workouts.
  • Survey expressed coverage of over 30,000 student-athletes.
  • 33% of schools identified a potential COVID-19 case through their screening process.
  • 18% of schools identified a positive Covid-19 case through their screenings.
  • 23.38% of schools had a reason to shut down a workout pod of athletes due to COVID-19 exposure.
  • 12.34% of schools shut down an individual sports team due to Covid-19 exposure.
  • 54 total athletes were identified as Covid-19 + (.0018 positive rate) 54/30,000.
  • Athletic Trainers at 68.48% of schools oversaw the COVID-19 protocols.
  • 97.06% of schools relied on NJSIAA protocol recommendations.
  • 79% of Athletic trainers surveyed feel the protocols have been successful.

Statistical analysis indicated there was no significant difference in response patterns across NJSIAA groupings (Group 1-5) or regions (North, Central, or Southern) in the state (p>.05).

“We are encouraged that due to the preparation of school districts across the state, along with guidance from the NJSIAA, high school athletics in New Jersey has quickly adapted its processes to best address the needs of student-athletes during this unprecedented time,” said Briles. “Integral to this recess period are the licensed athletic trainers which are being depended on by school administrators, athletic directors and coaches to help ensure that student-athlete health is monitored and actions are taken to address potential virus-related situations.”

In the COVID-19 environment, the ATSNJ believes that future athletic participation recommendations should be based on the best available scientific evidence in order to ensure the health, safety and well-being of student-athletes in the state of New Jersey. The ATSNJ continues to advance best practices for ensuring that athletes and the physically active population participate in sports in a safe environment and receive the best health care possible. As cited in this survey’s results, licensed athletic trainers play a significant role in the implementation and success of COVID-19 protocols in the high school athletics environment. ATSNJ members across the state will continue to be at the front-line of this pandemic, offering their expertise on a daily basis so that as the school year begins, high school sports can function in a competitive, enjoyable and safe way for the state’s student-athletes and their families.

For more detailed survey results, please visit: https://www.atsnj.org/covid19

For more information about the ATSNJ, please visit our website at http://www.atsnj.org or social media pages on Facebook @NJSportSafety, Twitter @ATSNJ, and Instagram @ATSNJ.

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Nicholas Scaramazza
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