Pac-12 Announces Football Gameday COVID-19 Testing Protocol

Nov 2, 2020, 6:53 PM

Pac-12 Logo - Utah Football...

This is the Pac12 logo in Rice Eccles Stadium before the Utah Utes and Brigham Young Cougars college football game on September 10, 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Pac-12 released further details of football game week/day testing protocols.

The conference released a thorough and lengthy protocol that teams in the Pac-12 must abide by.

Here is the entire protocol given by the Pac-12 in a release that was sent to KSL Sports.

Game Day Testing

3rd Party Test Administrator: SafeSiteTM will administer game day antigen testing for each Pac-12 football game.

Testing Groups: Antigen tests will be administered to:

  • Home team sideline group
  • Visiting team’s travel party
  • On-field officials

PCR Inventory: If there is any positive antigen test result on game day, SafeSite will have a limited capacity to perform rapid-result PCR tests for confirmation (2 per hour).

Test Logisitics:

  • Each team will have a designated SafeSite coordinator and create a SafeSite account.
  • Coordinator will upload individuals to receive testing and will be the only individual with access to results.
  • Each student-athlete will need to sign HIPPA waivers and allow SafeSite to submit de-identified results to state/local public health administrations.
  • SafeSite will coordinate with each team’s designated testing contact each week to schedule the collection of testing specimens based on the time of the game, location of the team hotels, etc.
  • Antigen tests should be completed 4 hours prior to kickoff.
  • Testing will begin at least 6-8 hours prior to kickoff. For games at 12 p.m. or prior, the game day test may be administered the day prior to the game.

PCR Minimum Requirement

  • PCR Administration Window: Student-athlete weekly PCR will be administered as follows:

Home Team: Within 36 hours of the scheduled kickoff
Visiting Team: Within 36 hours of the scheduled travel departure time
Santa Clara County: Additional PCR upon arrival to Santa Clara County, California

Positive Antigen Tests

  • Minimum Positive Antigen Test Confirmation/Clearance: Administer a PCR test within 24 hours of a positive antigen test result. If the PCR test is negative, the student-athlete may be reinstated to daily antigen testing cadence and may return to activity (subject to local/state regulations and if deemed appropriate by institution’s medical staff).
  • Incongruent Antigen/PCR Tests: Rare individuals who have multiple consecutive antigen positives test followed by at least two consecutive PCR negative tests administered over the subsequent 48-72 hours may move to a minimum 3x/week PCR testing cadence in lieu of antigen testing (subject to local/state regulations and if deemed appropriate by institution’s medical staff). A negative PCR completed within 48 hours of game time is required to participate.

Post-Recovery Test Exemption

Post-Recovery Testing Exemption:

  • Current data shows that re-infection of COVID-19 after initial recovery may be possible, but the risk of re-infection may be lower.
  • Following recovery from COVID-19, individuals are exempt from surveillance testing for ninety (90) days.
  • A test should be administered upon presentation of any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Post-recovery testing exemption periods are subject to local/state regulations and campus policies.

Game Day Medical Transport

Game Day Transport for Infected Individuals:

  • Pac-12 has engaged AirMed International air ambulance service to provide game day transport for individuals who test positive while traveling for competition.
  • Each institution will designate a point of contact to work with AirMed for game day travel logistics.


A game day attestation from (online) will be submitted by each team physician and athletic director attesting that:

  • Each team has complied with minimum testing requirements
  • No individual will be participating in the game who has:
  • Received a presumptive positive test result (without clearance)
  • Received a confirmed positive test result
  • Had high-risk contact
  • Is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If an individual tests positive within 48 hours following a game, the institution will immediately notify the opposing team and the conference office to allow for appropriate contact tracing to be performed.

Face Coverings

  • Face coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth by all individuals in the stadium and on the field.
  • Players may remove face coverings while in the field of play but must re-place their face coverings once they have returned to the sideline.
  • OK: surgical mask, cloth mask, gaiter (double layer or thick clock)
  • Not OK: face shield (may be used with other face covering specifically for nose and mouth)

Key Elements

  • Daily point-of-care testing on each day of full practice, higher-risk of transmission activity, travel and games.
  • Minimum once weekly PCR test (in addition to daily point-of-care testing). For football game weeks, the weekly PCR test will take place within 36 hours of game time for home team student-athletes and within 36 hours of travel departure for visiting team student-athletes.
  • Any positive daily point-of-care antigen test must be followed by a PCR test within 24 hours.
  • A third-party testing administrator will administer game day point-of-care antigen tests (and PCR tests as applicable) for each team and on-field officials.
  • Game day air ambulance service will be available in case any individual tests positive while traveling for competition; and
  • All testing protocols continue to be subject to state, local, and campus public health requirements.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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Pac-12 Announces Football Gameday COVID-19 Testing Protocol