Nebraska Secures Rapid COVID-19 Tests With University of Nebraska Medical Center Partnership

By Colin Hass-Hill on September 10, 2020 at 7:05 pm
Ref in Nebraska
Bryon Houlgrave/The Register, Des Moines Register via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Folks, Nebraska wants to play football this fall.


Just hours after Ohio State head coach Ryan Day went public with his pitch for a season beginning in mid-October, a story from the Omaha World-Herald dropped that revealed Nebraska has acquired rapid COVID-19 testing that could be used for the upcoming season through a partnership with the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Scott Koepsell, who works at UNMC, is the medical director of a testing lab that processes 600 tests a day throughout the state. He now has a new position as interim director of a COVID-19 testing lab that Nebraska will open in East Stadium at the Nebraska Athletic Performance Lab.

Koepsell is about to be even more important to Nebraska’s testing efforts. Koepsell will be the interim director of a coronavirus testing lab NU plans to set up in East Stadium at the Nebraska Athletic Performance Lab. There, the Huskers will conduct rapid-response, point-of-care antigen testing currently used in professional sports and soon to be implemented in the Pac-12, which last week announced a long-term agreement with Quidel.

Through a contract with Vivature — which has partnered with Quidel — Nebraska has already received 1,200 test kits. NU will get Quidel’s Sofia-2 Analyzer machine by the end of this week and expects to incorporate the antigen testing into existing testing protocols by the end of next week.

The antigen test, which can utilize a less-invasive swab in the front of the nose, could be administered to players, coaches and staff the night before a game — in the hotel, for example — and get tested for immediate results at the NAPL.

The Cornhuskers believe they have a "rational, safe testing regimen for whenever the season returns," per the Omaha World-Herald.

Nebraska football chief of staff Gerrod Lambrecht told the Omaha World-Herald that the university plans to have the testing capability to "support two teams on game day."

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