The Mountain West Conference is working with Quest Diagnostics to implement testing protocols at all schools as they begin their return to football amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The conference, which postponed its fall sports season in August, announced Thursday night that it had reversed course and will play an eight-game season beginning Oct. 24, culminating in the conference championship game on Dec. 19.
And on Friday, the conference said all football players, coaches, trainers and other members of the program will be tested three times each week for COVID-19. Players who test positive in the initial point of contact (POC) test will undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for confirmation.
"The health and well-being of our student-athletes continue to guide all decisions," said Dr. Mary Papazian, San Jose State's president and chair of the conference Board of Directors.
"The availability of rapid testing addresses one of the main concerns that was expressed by our Board, the MW Health and Safety Advisory Committee, as well as by student-athletes and coaches. Our student-athletes have voiced their desire to compete, and it is the Board's shared opinion that football can be conducted with appropriate mitigation. We continue to learn more about the virus each day and will continue to monitor the pandemic moving forward. We will be ready to change course if necessary should new information come forth, or we feel an appropriate environment cannot be sustained on our campuses."
The conference also said it is finalizing "thresholds for competition interruption, monitoring test results, and other health and safety protocols that are consistent with NCAA resocialization guidelines."
The 2020 Mountain West football schedule has yet to be announced. Whether -- and how many -- fans will be allowed to attend games will be determined by local, county and state health ordinances, the conference said in a news release.
Mountain West teams are Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State and Wyoming.
--Field Level Media