One COVID-19 testing partnership is good.
But two is better.
On Wednesday, the Pac-12 Conference announced a surveillance COVID-19 testing partnership with Fulgent Genetics — which will provide RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) testing capabilities to supplement existing standard PCR and antigen rapid-results point-of-care testing across each Pac-12 athletics department.
In a statement, Fulgent Genetics chief commercial officer Brandon Perthuis said “RT-PCR is regarded as the gold standard in COVID-19 testing, providing the highest level of sensitivity and specificity. At Fulgent, we have built technology platforms around our test to make it scalable for the Pac-12, which allows us to deliver results within 24 hours of receipt of the sample for testing.”
The Pac-12 has already partnered with Quidel Corporation to provide daily rapid-results antigen COVID-19 testing for all of the conference’s close-contact sports. Additionally, when the Pac-12 announced a seven-game fall football season last week, the conference wrote in a statement that “at least one weekly PCR test will also be administered for each student-athlete, in addition to all positive tests to be confirmed with a PCR test.”
The partnership with Fulgent Genetics provides “a supplemental resource” to the Pac-12’s existing testing protocol.
“On the heels of our agreement with Quidel to provide rapid-results testing, today’s announcement represents another important step in providing a safe and healthy environment for a return to competition for our student-athletes,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement.
According to the release, each Pac-12 institution currently has RT-PCR testing practices and protocols in place for their athletics departments. Fulgent Genetics’ COVID-19 screening platform “provides an end-to-end solution for routine and repeat testing, including onsite testing for student-athletes and staff, 24-hour results and mobile delivery and interface.”