The B1G has announced new partnership agreements with Quidel Corporation and Biodesix Inc. for COVID-19 testing purposes. The conference released a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

Per the announcement, Quidel will be administering daily tests to student-athletes, coaches and staff members and Biodesix will be in charge of running the testing operations on all campuses.  The plan helps make football and other sports possible in the B1G during the 2020-21 academic year.

From the B1G:

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

The Return to Competition testing will begin on September 30, 2020. Biodesix administrators will be on site this week at each of the 14 Big Ten campuses, coinciding with the first shipment of the rapid antigen testing kits from Quidel.  Biodesix and its designated contractor, Maxim Healthcare Staffing Services, Inc., will assume all day-to-day sample collection and surveillance testing responsibilities.

“The partnership with Biodesix and Quidel is an important step toward achieving our mission of keeping our student-athletes, and the communities that support them, healthy and safe,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. “The data we are scheduled to collect, and the research component of this partnership, will provide major contributions to all 14 Big Ten institutions as they study COVID-19 and attempt to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) among wider communities.”

Earlier this month, the B1G announced that changes in testing and medical information would allow the league’s teams to participate in a football season this fall. It had originally postponed until spring, but now is targeting an Oct. 24 return date.

Wednesday marked the first day that most teams in the conference were practicing in pads.