The University of Nebraska is reporting that it has acquired its own rapid COVID testing through a partnership with the school’s medical center.
According to the Omaha World-Herald , the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s main testing lab processes about 600 tests per day from all over the state, but the school is about to set up a coronavirus testing lab in East Stadium at the Nebraska Athletic Performance Lab.
That lab will conduct rapid-response, point-of-care antigen testing currently used in professional sports and soon to be implemented in the Pac-12.
Nebraska has apparently already received 1,200 test kits and will get an analyzer machine by the end of this week.
The new tests would allow the school to test players, coaches and staff the night before a game and get the results almost immediately.
Nebraska’s planning to accommodate its opponents, too.
“We’re building our protocol so that it can support two teams on game day,” Nebraska football chief of staff Gerrod Lambrecht told the World-Herald.
Big Ten schools would be able to satisfy testing requirements by administering two tests during the course of game week. Any player who tests positive could then get a confirmation test. The first test, administered in the middle of the week, is a more sensitive PCR test that detects the presence of COVID-19 viral RNA. The second antigen test is administered the night before a game.
“If you’re doing strictly antigen testing, you may want to do three per week,” Koepsell said. “If you’re doing antigen testing and PCR, one of each per week. But then there’s the discomfort of these tests. You feel it for a while. Having three nasal swabs a week would be very uncomfortable and lead to bloody noses.”