COVID-19 has impacted the hiring process as the Humber College Athletics Department searches for a new head therapist.

Jennifer Bell, the previous head therapist, has left the Humber Athletic Therapy Clinic to pursue other opportunities. Bell was with the clinic for 15 years.

“It’s a big hole for us, big shoes to fill. I mean she was certainly one of the therapists that sort of laid the groundwork for the great work that that clinic does today and she’ll be missed,” said Michael Kopinak, Associate Director of Humber Athletics.

The Humber Athletic Therapy Clinic is responsible for the care of all Humber varsity athletes free of charge and also provides massage therapy services for other students and community members.

The clinic is now required to rely on the remaining therapists to take care of clients.

“In the meantime we’re using our part-time staff,” said Melanie Evens, Manager of Athletic Therapy Wellness. “We will look to fill that role once we’re sort of back up and running and having sports going then we’ll look to post and hire for that position.”

COVID-19 restrictions have pushed back the hiring deadline as the athletics department can no longer conduct in-person interviews.

“We’ve got to get approval through our executive, at this point in time we don’t know,” said Kopinak. “Any hiring that I’ve done- which has been pretty limited through COVID-19, but any hirings we have to have has all been done by Zoom. I would expect this to continue.”

Evens estimated that the position could be filled by January in time for the 2021 varsity season.

However, the Ontario College Athletic Association announced Thursday that the 2021 varsity season has been cancelled.

Currently, the Humber Athletic Therapy Clinic is open and has an extensive list of COVID-19 guidelines patients and staff members must follow.

“You know we’re screening before someone even enters the college, and we’re screening them as they come in, we’re taking temperatures, we’re cleaning, we’re reduced capacity in the clinic where we have a nice buffer between patients to be able to clean appropriately,” said Evens.

A video demonstrating all the guidelines and how clients can access the clinic has been posted to the Humber Athletic Therapy Clinic Instagram page @humbertherapy.