Utah AD Mark Harlan, Team Doctor Respond To Pac-12 Announcement Of Daily COVID-19 Testing

Sep 3, 2020, 5:06 PM
Utah athletic director Mark Harlan...
Utah athletic director Mark Harlan (Courtesy of James Wooldridge, Deseret News)
(Courtesy of James Wooldridge, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Athletics responded to the Pac-12’s announcement for a new COVID-19 testing initiative within the conference.

On Thursday, September 3, the Pac-12 Conference announced a partnership with Quidel Corporation, a diagnostic test leader, in order to carry out daily COVID-19 tests for its student-athletes that participate in “all close-contact sports.”

Shortly after the conference’s agreement with Quidel was announced, Utah athletic director Mark Harlan and team physician Dr. David Petron released statements on the news.

“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. “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.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Pac-12 to partner with Quidel in the utilization of their antigen point-of-care test,” Petron said. “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.”

In the Pac-12’s announcement, the conference said that the venture is a “major step toward the safe return of sports competition in the Pac-12.”

The conference expects Quidel’s testing machines and tests to be delivered to each of the athletic departments for each member of the conference by the end of September.

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