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Mountain West Conference to pay for football coronavirus testing

The Mountain West Conference will fund COVID-19 testing for its 12 members, including the University of Hawaii, commissioner Craig Thompson said today during a media briefing.

Thompson said he was not immediately able to put a price on expenditures but the money would come from the conference’s reserve fund.

The conference Thursday laid out a plan for its members to each play eight games in eight weeks beginning Oct. 24 but Thompson said it was unlikely that all its members would be able to accomplish that. He said there are no provisions for making up any games lost to COVID-19 or other factors.

The conference did not immediately announce schedules and Thompson said that when they are completed they may not be the same opponents as were originally announced in March.

Air Force will be allowed two non-conference games (Army and Navy) and Boise State may play Brigham Young. All other members will play conference games only.

Hawaii athletic director David Matlin said the Rainbow Warriors’ schedule is still, “a work in progress.”

Thompson said the conference said is partnering Quest Diagnostics, “to implement testing protocols across all member institutions. The agreement with Quest delivers frequent testing with rapid results, providing a major step forward for sport competition to resume.”

In addition the league said it will, “require all football student-athletes, coaches, trainers and other individuals that are on the field to undergo testing three times per week. Test results must be completed and recorded prior to each game. Student-athletes who test positive for the coronavirus through point of contact (POC) testing would require a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result of the POC test.”

The conference said stadium capacities will be determined “by each member institution in accordance with state, county and local health ordinances in consultation with government officials. “

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