Madison (OnFocus) – The Big 10 Conference officially announced this morning that football will return the weekend of October 23-24.
At a Tuesday meeting of Presidents and Chancellors, a unanimous decision was made to bring back football. Decisions about other sports will be announced shortly, the conference said in its press release.
Protocols for testing was the key to bringing back football, the conference shared.
“The Big Ten will require student-athletes, coaches, trainers and other individuals that are on the field for all practices and games to undergo daily antigen testing. Test results must be completed and recorded prior to each practice or game. Student-athletes who test positive for the coronavirus through point of contact (POC) daily testing would require a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result of the POC test,” the conference said in a release.
Complete Big 10 Conference Press Release: CLICK HERE
“Everyone associated with the Big Ten should be very proud of the groundbreaking steps that are now being taken to better protect the health and safety of the student-athletes and surrounding communities,” said Dr. Jim Borchers, Ohio State’s head team doctor and co-chair of the Return to Competition Task Force medical subcommittee. “The data we are going to collect from testing and the cardiac registry will provide major contributions for all 14 Big Ten institutions as they study COVID-19 and attempt to mitigate the spread of the disease among wider communities.”
The Big Ten Conference will use data provided by each Chief Infection Officer (CInO) to make decisions about the continuation of practice and competition, as determined by team positivity rate and population positivity rate, based on a seven-day rolling average:
- Team positivity rate (number of positive tests divided by total number of tests administered):
- Green 0-2%
- Orange 2-5%
- Red >5%
- Population positivity rate (number of positive individuals divided by total population at risk):
- Green 0-3.5%
- Orange 3.5-7.5%
- Red >7.5%
Decisions to alter or halt practice and competition will be based on the following scenarios:
- Green/Green and Green/Orange: Team continues with normal practice and competition.
- Orange/Orange and Orange/Red: Team must proceed with caution and enhance COVID-19 prevention (alter practice and meeting schedule, consider viability of continuing with scheduled competition).
- Red/Red: Team must stop regular practice and competition for a minimum of seven days and reassess metrics until improved.
The daily testing will begin by September 30, 2020.
Eventually all Big Ten sports will require testing protocols before they can resume competition. Updates regarding fall sports other than football, as well as winter sports that begin in the
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