Some potentially exciting news for Pac-12 fans, as a return to play could be here sooner rather than later.
As reported by Mercury News writer Jon Wilner, rapid-response antigen tests, provided by Quidel Corp, will allow football teams to test players for COVID-19 immediately before practice and games, thereby preventing on-field transmission by pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic players.
These daily coronavirus testing provide rapid results in a span of an hour, and could be the essential piece for bringing back football and other sports later this fall, which is key to keeping athletes, coaches and other students safe.
These tests are expected to arrive by the end of the month for use on a daily basis by athletes in six contact sports: football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s water polo, and wrestling.
Although this is encouraging news for Pac-12 fans, the hurtle that still needs to be jumped is convincing health officials in California and Oregon to lift state restrictions to allow the six teams to move forward with practice and competition.
The three NFL teams in California received exemptions from the state in large part because of their ability to test players on a daily basis.
The University of Arizona has reportedly been using these rapid-response antigen tests for months now.
Per Wilner, the Quidel product tests were 96 percent to 98 percent accurate in sensitivity (finding the antigens) and 100 percent accurate in specificity (finding the right antigens).
Overall, these daily tests and results pave the way to keep the athletes safe and would reportedly meet the standards for Covid-19 prevention set by the conference’s medical experts.
With other conferences such as the Big 12 and ACC already in play, the SEC season starting in two weeks, and the Big Ten on the brink of restarting the season, these tests could see the Pac-12 return to play in mid-November, at the earliest.
The Pac-12 is on the clock.