Return to training/coaching after COVID-19
With the COVID-19 pandemic set to be with us for some time to come, Artistic Swimming WA feels it appropriate to provide useful information to our Coaches, parents and athletes. The information below is derived from Australian Department of Health and provides suggestions regarding an athlete’s return to training and a coach returning to work after a positive COVID-19 test.
Each COVID-19 case is unique and each athlete and coach will react differently and require an individual approach to a return to training/work, so the below information is a guideline only. Additionally, each subsequent COVID-19 infection brings new risk and should be taken into account. We suggest that athletes, parents and coaches work together to ensure everyone’s continued health.
When can I start training again/return to work as a coach?
Exercise plays an important role in COVID-19 recovery. If you are recovering from moderate or severe illness you should speak with your healthcare provider before returning to training.
However, if your symptoms were mild, the Australian Department of Health guidelines suggest that you can start training again once:
- You have had at least 7 days with no symptoms
- You have had 10 days of rest since symptoms started
- You are no longer taking any medications such as paracetamol
Start with 15 minutes of light activity and see how you feel, one suggestion is to go for a walk. Pay attention to your heart rate and breathing as you exercise. Over time, you can slowly introduce longer and harder workouts.
If you have any of the following symptoms, stop exercising immediately and contact your healthcare provider:
- unexpected breathlessness
- chest pain or palpitations. If you experience severe central crushing chest pain lasting more than 10 minutes call 000
- signs of blood clotting, such as swollen calves
What can I expect while recovering from COVID-19?
Everyone will have a different experience in their recovery from COVID-19. Some people may recover in days, some in weeks. But for others, it could be months.
Common symptoms you may experience during your recovery:
- joint or muscle pain
- chest pain
- change in sense of taste or smell
- anxiety and/or low mood
Less common symptoms:
- low-grade fever
- memory difficulties
- muscle pain and weakness
- stomach and digestion difficulties
If you have any of the following symptoms, call emergency services on 000 immediately and tell the phone operator you’ve previously been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- severe shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- severe chest pain or pressure
- a new or returning fever
- worsening ability to concentrate and increased confusion
- difficulty waking up
What can coaches do?
Be aware of your own health upon return to work after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, and not push beyond your own immediate capabilities. Be aware of each athlete’s abilities and symptoms, adjusting the rate of training for each athlete as the situation requires it. Work with each athlete and parent to ensure a graduated return to training and advise parents if any symptoms or issues occur during training.
What can athletes and parents do?
Athletes and parents need to be aware of long-term consequences of COVID-19 infections and closely monitor for any concerning symptoms. The athlete’s healthcare provider should be contacted if the athlete experiences any persistent fevers, difficulty breathing, chest pain, palpitations, dizziness, swelling of hands or feet, or fatigue following a COVID-19 infection. In addition, work closely with the coach to ensure the athlete’s graduated return to training is suitable for them.