Pac-12 Announces Partnership with Quidel for Rapid COVID-19 Testing


Pac-12 conference comissioner Larry Scott, Friday, March 11, 2016. (Mike Sheehan, Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora, Sports Editor


On Thursday, Sept. 3, the Pac-12 Conference announced a partnership with the Quidel Corporation, who is helping lead the charge for rapid COVID-19 testing. The partnership will allow the conference to conduct daily testing for student athletes who participate in close-contact sports. 

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

Having an access to daily tests alleviates one of the issues that the conference cited as a reason for postponing all fall sports. 

Utah team doctor David Petron, who is also a part of the conference’s COVID-19 Advisory Committee, saluted the conference for being able to partner with such a big testing company. 

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Pac-12 to partner with Quidel in the utilization of their antigen point-of-care test. This test has the ability to return results within minutes and will help in allowing the safe return of student-athletes to the playing field. The testing protocols of the Pac-12 and the ability to do research in this area will also help determine if point-of-care rapid testing can decrease or eliminate the risk of infection from sport competition,” Petron said. 

According to the Pac-12, Quidel “Sofia 2” testing machines are expected to be on campuses by the end of the month. 

Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan remained optimistic that these tests will start to forge a path to the return to sports. 

“This is an exciting new development that was announced today by the Pac-12. There is still much work to be done, and many details to be determined, but it is a very encouraging step forward on the path toward the safe return to sports competition,” Harlan said in a statement. “Our top priority all along has been the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff, and we will continue to keep that priority at the forefront of everything we do. Our approach will continue to be subject to the approval of public health authorities, and we will remain in close communication with campus and Pac-12 Conference leadership as we go forward.”

Being the flagstaff research conference in the country, this is a chance for the Pac-12 to be on the right side history for COVID-19 testing for student athletes. 

“Pac-12 universities and their medical research centers are performing significant and important research to better understand and combat COVID-19,” Scott said. “The study to be conducted with Quidel fits into the broader educational and research missions of our universities, and will provide important new data and information that will be beneficial to society more broadly.”


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