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SEC Football Adds Another Weekly COVID-19 Test, Enhanced Heart Screenings

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2020

SEC logo on a pylon during the Southeastern Conference Championship NCAA college football game against the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 in Atlanta. (Ric Tapia via AP)
Ric Tapia/Associated Press

The SEC still plans on playing football in the fall and will reportedly hold stricter testing procedures than initially planned in an effort to do so.

Mark Schlabach of ESPN reported the SEC announced Friday that it will have three weekly COVID-19 tests per week prior to games, as well as enhanced heart screenings for myocarditis, which is a heart condition associated with COVID-19.

Schlabach noted the SEC's Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force recommended the third rapid diagnostic test.

The SEC, Big 12 and ACC still plan on having football in the fall, while the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced they are postponing fall sports until the spring.

"We remain vigilant in monitoring the trends and effects of COVID-19 as we learn more about the virus, and this cardiac evaluation enhances the effectiveness of the protocols already in place," SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said.

The enhanced heart screenings are all the more notable after Paula Lavigne and Schlabach reported on Aug. 10 that myocarditis was found in at least five Big Ten athletes and others in different conferences.

The uncertainty surrounding the heart condition impacted the decision from some conferences to not hold a football season in the fall.

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On Thursday, Georgia State quarterback Mikele Colasurdo announced he will not play this season because of a heart condition stemming from his COVID-19 diagnosis.

As for the more frequent testing, the SEC will use a third-party provider for all of its schools during the season.  

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