In announcing its plan to resume competition in June, the PGA Tour placed a clear emphasis on increased access to widespread COVID-19 testing. Now, the numbers are starting to roll in on just what that might look like.
According to a report from the U.K.'s Guardian, the Tour's latest plan to salvage a 2020 season could require the use of up to 1 million coronavirus tests. That estimate covers the events from the Charles Schwab Challenge, now slated for June 11-14, through the Tour Championship in early September.
According to the report, individual tests will be mailed to the homes of players, caddies and officials who will be on-site. Additional tests will be done on anyone traveling to an event by air, with daily tests administered during tournament week. Anyone testing positive would reportedly be subject to a 14-day isolation period.
While the first four Tour events (Charles Schwab Challenge, RBC Heritage, Rocket Mortgage Classic and Travelers Championship) will be conducted without fans, the report estimates that those tournaments will still include 700-800 people on-site between players, caddies and other essential personnel.
The PGA Tour reportedly denied the accuracy of the 1 million test figure. As of April 20, approximately 4 million coronavirus tests had been administered across the entire U.S.
"The Tour is still examining the issue of testing in consultation with leading medical experts," the Tour told the Guardian. "We have on numerous occasions said publicly that COVID-19 testing as it stands today is most critical across the healthcare world and in our communities."
One such public statement came last week from Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who made it clear that increased testing was integral to the Tour's hopes for a mid-June return.
"We need to have widespread, large-scale testing across our country," Monahan said. "We're going to need to be able to test players, caddies and other constituents before we return, but we need to do so in a way that's not going to take away from the critical need that we're currently facing. And we feel confident, based on the advice that we're getting from medical experts, that we'll be in that position."