Jul 01, 2020
Coronavirus testing: UC Berkeley starts trials for saliva COVID-19 tests
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BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- UC Berkeley researchers announced Tuesday that they've started trials of a saliva test for COVID-19.
It allows people to spit into a tube, which is far less invasive than the nasal swab.
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The samples would then be analyzed at a pop-up lab with results available within five days.
The test would allow them to identify asymptomatic students and employees and isolate them in quarantine.
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"When students come back we want to make sure they're not bringing in more virus to our community, Berkeley doesn't just exist as a University," UC Berkeley graduate student Alexander Ehrenberg said.
"We live in a local Bay Area community and we have to make sure we're protecting them. So its key that we're testing those students when they come back," he said.
If all goes well, the researchers hope to submit an application for an Emergency Use Authorization to the FDA, which would allow the test to be used clinically.
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Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott Tests Positive For COVID-19
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — Hours after Pac-12 officials announced their sports teams would only be playing conference opponents this fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic, commissioner Larry Scott revealed he has tested positive for the virus and was suffering from ‘flu-like’ symptoms.
In a twitter post the league said: “After experiencing mild flu-like symptoms late this week and out of an abundance of caution Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott was tested for COVID-19. The test for Commissioner Scott came back positive, and as a result he is self-quarantining at the direction of his physician.”
While being quarantined, the league said Scott would still be handling his duties as commissioner.
Earlier Friday, the Pac-12 CEO Group announced it was following the Big Ten Conference, which opted to eliminate nonconference games for all fall sports on Thursday.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports continues to be our No. 1 priority,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. “Our decisions have and will be guided by science and data, and based upon the trends and indicators over the past days, it has become clear that we need to provide ourselves with maximum flexibility to schedule, and to delay any movement to the next phase of return-to-play activities.”
The Atlantic Coast, Big 12 and Southeastern conferences are still weighing options for fall sports. On Wednesday, the Ivy League became the first Division I conference to suspend all fall sports until at least January, leaving open the possibility of moving some sports to the spring if the pandemic is under better control.
The Pac-12’s decision covers football, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. Conference-only schedules will be announced no later than July 31.
The conference is also delaying the start of mandatory athletic activities until a series of health and safety indicators become more positive. Student-athletes who choose not to participate in the next academic year due to COVID-19 concerns will continue to have their scholarships honored and will remain in good standing with their teams.
The college sports world has been put on hold since the coronavirus pandemic wiped out the lucrative NCAA basketball tournaments and all spring sports. Athletes recently began returning to campuses for voluntary workouts, but many schools have scaled back as more than a dozen schools have reported positive COVID-19 tests among athletes in the past month.
Schools also have faced massive budget shortfalls in the wake of the pandemic.
The NCAA shorted its member schools $375 million in scheduled payouts due to the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament and schools across the country have been hit with massive budget shortfalls as college sports remain on hold.
Stanford eliminated 11 of its 36 varsity sports this week and at least 171 four-year schools have eliminated sports during the pandemic.
“Arizona State University and Sun Devil Athletics support the Pac-12’s announcement of a strictly conference schedule for the 2020 football and fall sports seasons,” Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson said in a statement. “We will continue to seek the guidance and input from medical and infectious disease experts, as well as our local and campus health officials and doctors as we evaluate this ever-changing landscape.”
A shift to conference-only schedules will likely have a ripple across the college sports landscape.