With the players about to return to play on two of their largest circuits, the PGA TOUR has revealed how they will handle Covid-19 testing for the balance of the season. It will done through a partnership with Sanford Health.
That company will provide three mobile testing units, with one being on-site at each PGA TOUR, Korn Ferry Tour, and PGA TOUR Champions event held in the continental United States for the balance of the season.
The mobile units will arrive at the events on the Saturday prior to the week of play and will begin to test players, caddies, and essential staff working the event as soon as they arrive. They will remain on the scene until the following Thursday before packing up to head to the next tournament.
The estimate is that 400-500 people will be tested each week. Three lab technicians and a driver will staff each unit, and they can conduct approximately 32 tests per hour. The swab portion take about 5 minutes and then results are provided in two to four hours.
“With health and safety being our No. 1 priority upon our return to competition, we are extremely pleased to partner with Sanford Health and to utilize their expertise in testing our players, caddies and personnel going forward,” said Andy Levinson, PGA TOUR Senior Vice President Tournament Administration. “Not only will Sanford Health’s mobile laboratories enable us to deliver test results in a matter of hours so that our athletes can properly prepare for competition, but they will also allow us to implement our testing program without utilizing critical resources from the communities in which we play, which was of upmost importance to us.”
The units will be present for the resumption of the PGA TOUR in Forth Worth, Texas and the Korn Ferry Tour in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida next week.
Sanford Health also becomes a marketing partner with the designation Official COVID-19 On-site Testing Provider of the PGA TOUR. It already has an established relationship with the TOUR as title sponsor of the Sanford International, a PGA TOUR Champions event in Sioux Falls scheduled for Sept. 11-13.