Pac-12 to use rapid-result COVID-19 testing that could expedite return to play
The Pac-12 has partnered with a company that will supply daily rapid-result COVID-19 testing for its athletes, the conference announced Thursday, and the agreement could expedite a return to play.
"This is a major step toward the safe resumption of Pac-12 sport competitions," commissioner Larry Scott said in a release. "The availability of a reliable test that can be administered daily, with almost immediate results, addresses one of the key concerns that was expressed by our medical advisory committee, as well as by student-athletes, coaches, and others."
Quidel will supply the tests, and the rapid results are expected to decrease the likelihood of anyone infected with the coronavirus participating in a game or practice.
Each Pac-12 athletic department should have its testing machines and tests by the end of September. Scott said the costs of the tests is confidential.
"These tests can be administered and read ... in our athletic training room and produce results in just 15 minutes," Scott said during a press conference, according to Bryan Fischer of Athlon Sports.
Scott called the development a "game-changer," but he also noted that the schools in California and Oregon still haven't received approval from local health authorities to resume practicing.
The Pac-12 has spoken to the Big Ten about the testing development. The two conferences were the first in the Power 5 to postpone school sports back in mid-August. Scott said he hopes the conferences can align their seasons if a resumption is coming.
"We're hopeful with today's news and what's coming from the NCAA will provide us a pathway to start before Jan. 1," Scott said, according to Fischer.