In a positive turn of events on Thursday, the Pac- 12 announced a groundbreaking new partnership that paves the way for rapid daily testing.
“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.”
In a Q&A with reporters, Scott mentioned that the testing opens up the door to start football before Jan. 1, “but first, public health authorities will have to allow those six schools to practice, and then they need six weeks of training camp to feel safe.”
Quidel’s CEO confirmed that they’ve been coming to agreements with teams from other conferences that are currently playing, which means it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the company work with the Big Ten.
The Pac- 12 didn’t think they’d have this type of testing capability until November at the earliest, so this news is a highly encouraging development. Scott noted that he’s been speaking with Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren frequently. “A high priority for the Pac-12 would be to align our seasons,” Scott said. “It would be awesome to have some of the traditional postseason opportunities the Pac-12 and Big Ten have enjoyed with each other.”
We’ll see how rapid this changes the dynamic of there being a fall season or not for the two conferences, but we’re going to take good news anywhere we can find it these days.
Really important point by #Washington Dr. Kim Harmon about how rapid antigen tests are way better at identifying when someone could be spreading the virus. Would make contact tracing way easier than the PCR tests, which really make contact tracing a challenge.— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) September 3, 2020