The ACC has upgraded its safety standards for COVID-19 testing, increasing the number of in-season weekly tests from one to three for multiple fall sports (including football) and instituting a cardiac evaluation for athletes who test positive. The league made the announcement Friday.
The increases in testing stands to significantly reduce the likelihood of athletes unknowingly spreading the coronavirus in practice or competition. One test must be administered within three days of competition, which by itself was the original minimum standard set by the ACC and its medical advisory group.
For football, players will be required to take another test the day before competition and another inside of 48 hours after the end of the game. Testing on the day before the game will be done by an third party selected by the ACC office. The ACC follows the Big 12 and SEC in upgrading its testing frequency to thrice-weekly.
The policy of three tests per week will apply for football, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball and will begin the week before competition begins. Aside from football, Georgia Tech’s volleyball team will also be under this plan.
The cardiac evaluation will include an electrocardiogram, a troponin test and an echocardiogram before a phased return to exercise. Myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle and can have deadly consequences, has been linked to COVID-19 infections.