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Former USU Volleyball Player Josselyn Jones Working On Front Lines Of Coronavirus In Cache Valley

(Photo courtesy of Utah State Athletics)

LOGAN, Utah – Former Utah State volleyball player Josselyn (White) Jones left for maternity leave in January but when she returned to work as a nurse at Logan Regional Hospital, things would never be the same.

Jones is the latest “Aggie Healthcare Hero” that is featured by Utah State Athletics of their former student-athletes that are now working on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

When Jones went on her maternity leave, COVID-19 was barely hitting the news. The United States identified their first positive test on January 21 in Washington state.

Arkansas To Utah

A Fayetteville, Arkansas native, Jones took her volleyball talents to Logan where she was a four-year letterwinner for Utah State’s volleyball team from 2009-12. She graduated in three years with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science in May 2011.

Jones earned her bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Utah in 2017 before she started working at Logan Regional Hospital right after.

She was a volleyball standout near Utah State when she attended Sky View High School in Smithfield, Utah.

Jones married former Utah State football player Isaiah Jones. They have two girls.

Her time at Utah State as a student-athlete helped her prepare to be a medical professional.

“My time as an athlete at Utah State, without a doubt, made me the person I am today,” stated Jones. “Similar to sports, health care is about working as a team to reach a common goal. Competing collegiately gave me the tools to successfully engage with people and manage stressful environments. I also think you never really lose that competitive nature, and it’s helped me to want to be a better, more knowledgeable nurse.”

Now as a nurse, Jones knew she wanted to work in healthcare but didn’t know in what capacity.

“All health care workers have their place, but nurses and nursing assistants are constantly engaging with patients, and that is what drew me to the profession,” Jones said. “I love the interactions I get to experience, as well as the challenge of a constantly changing career. Nursing is never stagnant or dull. It is also very versatile – there are so many options with one degree. I truly love my job and my co-workers (shout out to the medical floor), even in the midst of a pandemic!”

Dealing With COVID-19 Pandemic

After Jones returned from maternity leave, she had to dive right in to the pandemic and helping patients at Logan Regional Hospital.

“We are doing well. I am thankful that none of my close friends or family have had to personally experience COVID-19,” Jones told Utah State athletics. “However, the effects of COVID-19 are far reaching, and while nobody I know has had the virus, many of my friends and family are having to learn how to adapt to working from home, teaching their kids and in some cases, not working at all.”

While working through COVID-19, Jones is taking every precaution necessary.

Obviously, we socially distance as much as possible,” she said. “The big thing for me is making sure that I don’t bring anything home from the hospital. This means changing in the garage, wiping down all the work supplies I bring home, and a lot more showers (my former teammates will appreciate this). I have two young kids at home, so I really try to be vigilant about washing and sanitizing. I am also grateful for co-workers who are willing to take COVID-19 patients so those of us that are pregnant or have young babies don’t have to.”

The challenges that Jones and Logan Regional Hospital faces is the changes that are happening.

“The hardest part has been keeping up with all the changes that are happening in the hospital as we learn more about the virus and the effect that those changes have on patients,” Jones said. “As health care workers, we want to keep our patients safe and comfortable. It’s heartbreaking to have anxious or worried patients who can’t have their family with them, and it’s equally hard for family members to not be able to see their sick loved ones. It is also challenging to be wearing a mask and goggles where patients aren’t able to see what we look like or make out our facial expressions. A simple smile isn’t easy to convey anymore. Needless to say, it’s an incredibly isolating time to be a patient, and that isn’t lost on us. Thankfully, Intermountain has done a great job implementing alternative forms of communication, such as Facetime and Duo, that allow patients and families to talk to and see one another.”

If you are a former USU student-athlete and are on the frontlines of the pandemic, please contact Wade Denniston at wade.denniston@usu.edu.

Coronavirus Resources

How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

How To Get Help

If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.

Additional Resources

If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at consumerprotection@utah.gov.