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Big Ten to begin football season Oct. 23-24

FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2019, file photo, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields (1) runs with the ball against Wisconsin during the first half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, in Indianapolis. The Big Ten announced Wednesday it would play football beginning Oct. 23-24. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2019, file photo, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields (1) runs with the ball against Wisconsin during the first half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, in Indianapolis. The Big Ten announced Wednesday it would play football beginning Oct. 23-24. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)(Michael Conroy | AP)
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 9:37 AM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -The Big Ten conference announced Wednesday morning that schools will play football beginning the weekend of Oct. 23-24.

The conference had previously postponed the season with plans to play in Spring 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors announced they have adopted new medical protocols that include “daily antigen testing, enhanced cardiac screening, and a data-driven approach when making decisions about practice/competitions.” The vote to play football in Fall 2020 was unanimous. No schedules have been released.

The league will use a seven-day rolling average of team and population positivity rate to determine the continuation of practice and competition, using a color coded system of Green, Orange and Red.

The league, which includes Ohio State, released the following metrics for play:

  • Team positivity rate (number of positive tests divided by total number of tests administered): Green 0-2% Orange 2-5% Red >5%
  • Population positivity rate (number of positive individuals divided by total population at risk): Green 0-3.5% Orange 3.5-7.5% Red >7.5%

Decisions to alter or halt practice and competition will be based on the following scenarios:

  • Green/Green and Green/Orange: Team continues with normal practice and competition.
  • Orange/Orange and Orange/Red: Team must proceed with caution and enhance COVID-19 prevention (alter practice and meeting schedule, consider viability of continuing with scheduled competition).
  • Red/Red: Team must stop regular practice and competition for a minimum of seven days and reassess metrics until improved.

The daily testing will begin by September 30, 2020.

The Big Ten said updates regarding Fall sports other than football, as well as winter sports including men’s and women’s basketball, would be announced “shortly.”

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