The Pac-12 Conference will have its student-athletes in football and basketball wear devices that will help with contract tracing concerning the novel coronavirus.
On Monday, the conference announced its use of technology developed by Kinexon SafeZone to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball programs.
According to a press release from the Pac-12, it will use “small lightweight wearables called ‘SafeTags’ to accurately measure the distance and duration between users. The SafeTags will be worn by student-athletes, coaches and staff during all team activities, including games. In the case of an infection, the contact information can be accessed by designated school medical officials via Kinexon’s exposure management software. With this software, chains of infection can be identified immediately and those at risk can be sent into quarantine in real-time, limiting the possibility of large outbreaks.”
The implementation of the technology will take place in the coming days.
“The Pac-12 is committed to creating as safe and healthy of an environment for our student-athletes as possible, and our partnership with Kinexon is another important step in doing so,” said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott. “Contact tracing is a critically important element of our health and safety protocols, and Kinexon’s SafeZone technology will significantly enhance our capabilities in this essential area.”
The Kinexon devices track distance and duration between users. A red warning light will flash when certain people are within six feet of each other. All 32 teams in the NFL are using the devices, as did the NBA during its restart to the season in Orlando this fall.
“Our advanced digital approach to contact tracing has proven to be an effective way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within athletic programs,” said Kinexon executive vice president Jim Garofalo. “By adopting our technology, the Pac-12 is providing its student-athletes with the best opportunity to stay healthy and compete for a championship.”