Northwest College athletics institutes on-campus testing

Posted 1/14/21

As student-athletes return to campus for the spring semester, Northwest College is doing everything in its power to ensure their safety.

The school has introduced a new on-campus COVID-19 testing …

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Northwest College athletics institutes on-campus testing

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As student-athletes return to campus for the spring semester, Northwest College is doing everything in its power to ensure their safety.

The school has introduced a new on-campus COVID-19 testing program for its student-athletes. Athletes from every team that begins competition in January — men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and wrestling — underwent nasal tests in Cabre Gym the week of Jan. 4-8.

NWC athletic director Brian Erickson, along with athletic trainer Leslie Kenney, met with Bill Crampton of Park County Public Health. Crampton trained Erickson and Kenney on how to properly host a testing site.

With so many student-athletes returning from different places, Erickson saw the additional step as necessary.

“We agreed to have this so when our kids get back from being around family and friends back home, we could test them,” Erickson said. “We could make sure that they’re safe and have a negative test before we start practices.”

Various Northwest programs begin competition in a couple weeks, and the Trappers will start practicing in the days prior.

Though the student-athletes won’t be required to test before every event, some of the schools NWC competes against require their opponents to test, so the Trappers will be able to hold screenings in Cabre Gym as needed.

“Most of them want a negative test from the student-athletes, coaches and managers seven to 10 days before we compete,” Erickson said. “This gives us the opportunity to test and still be able to compete against those teams.”

In addition to the in-person testing availability for student-athletes, 2,500 at-home Vault tests will be available for the general college population. These tests are done remotely, with a physician on a video call with the person taking the test, ensuring the procedures are properly followed.

Erickson and Northwest’s various coaches applauded how the school handled the pandemic in the fall semester. This recent addition to the COVID-19 safety measures builds on the efficient plan put in place by the college.

“This just kind of ups it a little bit more,” Erickson said. “Last semester we weren’t competing as much, and this gives us more opportunities to make sure we can compete in our preseason and our season and our regionals and nationals.”

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