Pac-12 announces expedited diagnostic initiative to shorten delay on sports competitions

Pac-12 announces expedited diagnostic initiative to shorten delay on sports competitions
The Pac-12 Conference partners up with a diagnostics manufacturing company with the goal of expediting COVID-19 testing among student-athletes to shorten the delay of sports competitions in 2020. (Source: Cooper, Michael)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - On Sep. 3, 2020, The Pac-12 Conference announced its partnership with a diagnostics manufacturer that could potentially implement daily testing for COVID-19 among student-athletes across all campuses for close-contact sports.

The agreement with the American manufacturer, Quidel, is a major step towards the return of sports competitions and is aimed to provide frequent testing with rapid results.

“This is a major step toward the safe resumption of Pac-12 sport competitions,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.

“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. At the same time, our partnership with Quidel, the industry leader in point-of-care antigen testing, will provide crucial research data that will benefit our members’ communities as well as the entire country.”

The Pac-12 hopes that this type of expedited testing will significantly reduce the number of contact traces required, with the goal of relieving some of the burden on local health authorities dealing with COVID-19.

“We are pleased to participate in this innovative arrangement that will help protect Pac-12 student-athletes and allow them to return to play while contributing to further understanding of the COVID-19 virus that will benefit all of society,” said Quidel President and CEO Douglas Bryant.

Testing machines manufactured by the company are expected to be delivered to each of the Pac-12 athletic departments by the end of September.

Over the coming weeks, the Pac-12 will review testing related to the diagnostics research with sports planning committees and evaluate the impact on the return of sports competitions for 2020.

Any return to competitions is subject to approvals from public health officials.

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