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Pac-12 Conference: Players Will Be Tested Weekly For COVID-19

Student-athletes will undergo COVID-19 and antibody testing to ensure a safe return to college sports.

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Conference Championship-Oregon vs Utah Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As the June 15th date draws near and voluntary workouts can once again begin in the Pac-12, the league’s commissioner Larry Scott told 247 sports that “all student-athletes returning to campuses will be required to be tested for COVID-19 and will also undergo antibody testing”.

Scott also noted, “We are going to have uniformity in the Pac-12. We’ve got a very strong medical advisory committee made up of our team docs and trainers. But we’ve got seven or eight infectious disease experts that are associated with these great university hospitals and medical research centers. They have specialists in this area and the collaboration has been terrific.”

Scott’s reference to those experts is part of the Pac-12’s CEO Group and COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee that originally slated the mid-June return as a feasible date. At that time, Scott stated that “the Pac-12 is committed to the well-being of our student-athletes, and the decision to allow for voluntary workouts, subject to a determination by each school, is guided by the advice of our medical experts and will be supported by the detailed protocols established by our medical advisory committee in concert with our campus’ own safety guidelines. As states have either already opened or begin to open up access to parks, gyms and other training facilities, student-athletes should have the option at this time to be in, what for many, will be a much safer environment on campus, where they can have access to the best available health, well-being and training support.”

With restrictions pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic are currently being eased depending on different states and counties, the concern surrounding the return of student-athletes to on-campus activities revolves mostly around the issue of “asymptomatic patients”. The commissioner also addressed that problem, stating that the reason for weekly testing lies mostly on asymptomatic patients.

“It’s too late if you’ve got a symptom. You’ve probably been infectious a few days before. And so for that reason and others, there will be testing. There is also going to be antibody testing for all student-athletes when they come back for a couple reasons: first and foremost, if you had the virus, there’s a heightened level of concern with cardiac and lung (health). There’s going to be other screenings and protocols.”