Big Ten announces partnership, new COVID testing protocols


FILE – In this Aug. 31, 2019, file photo, the Big Ten logo is displayed on the field before an NCAA college football game between Iowa and Miami of Ohio in Iowa City, Iowa. Big Ten presidents voted 11-3 to postpone the football season until spring, bringing some clarity to a key question raised in a lawsuit brought by a group of Nebraska football players. The vote breakdown was revealed Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, in the Big Ten’s court filing in response to the lawsuit. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

(WTAJ) — The Big Ten announced a partnership with Biodesix, Inc. and Quidel Corporation to provide surveillance testing for COVID-19 for the organization’s student-athletes.

“Along with its medical and scientific capabilities as a certified laboratory, Biodesix is committed to helping the Big Ten meet the testing requirements and reporting protocols established by the medical subcommittee and adopted by the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C),” said Dr. Jim Borchers, Head Team Physician, The Ohio State University, and co-chair of the Big Ten Conference Return to Competition Task Force medical subcommittee.

“Quidel’s rapid antigen testing technology represents the ability to perform COVID-19 surveillance testing on a large scale with prompt results,” Borchers continued.

Testing to return to competition will begin on Sept. 30. Biodesix will be on-site at all campuses in the Big Ten.

All student-athletes and staff in the Big Ten that are involved in close contact sports will be administered a rapid antigen surveillance test from Quidel before every practice and game.

Positive results of antigen testing will be referred to their member institution’s health staff to confirm the results.

All student-athletes in the Big Ten that test positive for COVID-19 will undergo cardiac testing and evaluation, where they then must receive clearance from a cardiologist designated by each individual university in order to return to competition.

The earliest turnaround to return to competition for an athlete that tests positive is 21 days.

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