HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - COVID-19 is on the minds of many coaches and athletes as they prepare to return to the field and court. Sports medicine experts want all high schools to remember these tips during the pandemic.
“If you have any potential concerns, bring it to the appropriate people, bring it to their attention early so we can get ahead of it,” said Dr. Jeremy Wells, a sports medicine physician at Hattiesburg Clinic Orthopedic and Sports Medicine.
This year, coaches need to be aware of their athletes, monitoring them daily for any symptoms of COVID-19.
Wells says this is beneficial to keep spread of the virus at a minimum.
“I think for athletes, they know their bodies better than anyone,” Well said. “So, if they feel they are not performing right, fatigued, tired, short of breath, can’t perform or feverish, they need to bring that to the attention of someone early so that we can get ahead of what may be a serious complication and can prevent the other team members from getting sick.”
If a student-athlete is showing symptoms, there are a few steps he or she needs to go through to get the proper treatment.
“If you have suspicious symptoms for COVID 19, then you want to get to see your family physician, cough and fever clinic in Hattiesburg Clinic or any of the immediate cares to get tested,” said Dr. Jessica Tullos of Hattiesburg Clinic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. “If your test does come back positive, you’ll be notified typically by that clinic, then they will go over all of that information. But most importantly is the quarantine time and that is a 14-day quarantine time.”
During that time, athletes need to stay home and parents need to be tested for the virus. As the 14-day quarantine comes to an end, it is essential to follow up with your physician.
Sports Medicine physician Dr. Nathan Darby explains what the Hattiesburg Clinic has to offer virtually for its athletes.
“Athletes that test positive for COVID-19 will need to be evaluated by a physician prior to returning to play,” Darby said. “One of the abilities we have here at the clinic is to do that remotely with a video visit. We have a system called ‘Iris’ where the can communicate directly with their physician remotely.”
If you do get COVID-19 as an athlete, it’s vital that you rest, continue to eat healthily and hydrate.
The Hattiesburg Clinic’s Sports Medicine and Orthopedics has 20 athletic trainers servicing 25 different schools throughout the Pine Belt.