Avera Medical Minute: Sports camp safety during pandemic

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 10:40 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -

If you drive by O'Gorman high school, you might see small groups of athletes working out again in hopes of competitions this fall. Steve Kueter is the O Gorman activities director.

"We run workout camps all summer: basketball camps, volleyball camps, cheerleading, dance. So far, 300 plus kids on this campus for a month, things have been going well," said Kueter.

Bringing the athletes back for training is done in phases.

"We continue the screening. We try to continue as much as possible, the six feet distancing... in all of this there's handwashing you know there's good hygiene, to try to make sure that we don't have spread during the summer," said Kueter.

And these high schoolers were more than ready.

“They were yanked out of school on March 13, and I mean couldn’t even get their books out of their lockers, and they were not able to come back until June 15, so it’s been a very enthusiastic group of kids. They really look forward to coming back and we’re getting great cooperation from them and their parents, so I feel pretty good about this plan,” said Kueter.

Athletic Trainer Tiffany Giese has adjusted from a focus on orthopedics and hydration to sanitizing and social distancing.

"Take their temperature, and ask them a series of questions based on symptoms that they've been experiencing for the last week, any contact that they've had with any positive cases. Other things are no community water, but they've all been bringing their own water bottles, no shared towels. Nothing like that. And then also the smaller groups," said Giese.

The big thing is the distancing and trying to eliminate the contact between the kids.

"The kids kind of workout with the same people every day so we can eliminate the spread as much as we can," said Giese.

And the athletic training room has changed.

"I've limited it to one or two, they kind of have to make appointments with me, which is a bigger change for them," said Giese.

The students are ready for a new sense of normal, knowing that plans for the fall could change.

"They're, they're giving us their best shot. They're all enthusiastic about getting going and so are we. Coaches, our teachers, I think we're all ready to go," said Kueter.

"Really happy to be back here and seeing the kids again. It was a weird few months not being here and not seeing the same athletes every day," said Giese.

In addition to the classroom, the students have also learned another lesson.

“These kids are have lived through a pandemic now for several months so they get that for us to come back and be successful in the fall, you have to follow the guidelines we have in place right now,” said Kueter.

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