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An Ohio State-Rutgers football game in 2016. Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Big Ten announced Wednesday that it will begin its football season during the weekend of Oct. 23-24, backed by daily coronavirus testing for all on-field personnel and enhanced cardiac screenings.

Why it matters: The conference was the first Power 5 league to postpone its 2020 fall sports seasons because of coronavirus concerns.

  • Each institution in the conference will have a "chief infection officer" to report testing data and establish a cardiac registry to monitor athletes' heart health.
  • Much of the pressure to suspend college football had been fueled by concerns about myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle. The condition, which has been linked to COVID-19, has been found in at least one-third of Big Ten athletes who have had the virus.

What they're saying: "The data we are going to collect from testing and the cardiac registry will provide major contributions for all 14 Big Ten institutions as they study COVID-19 and attempt to mitigate the spread of the disease among wider communities," said Ohio State team physician Dr. Jim Borchers in a statement.

The big picture: The Big Ten said that a decision on its other fall sports — as well as winter sports that begin in the fall — will be announced "shortly" but noted that all sports would "require testing protocols before they can resume competition."

Go deeper

Dec 24, 2020 - Health

Mexico becomes first Latin American country to vaccinate against COVID

A nurse was the first person in Mexico to receive the vcaccine. Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty

Mexico became the first Latin American country to begin coronavirus vaccinations, amid a surge in cases, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The serum arrives as Mexico's hospitals reach a breaking point. The country tallies over 1.3 million COVID-19 cases and 120,000 deaths, per John Hopkins University data, though actual numbers are believed to be much higher.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Dec 23, 2020 - Health

Why Americans will demand to be able to prove they're vaccinated

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

You've received a coronavirus vaccination — but can you prove it? The answer to that question will help determine how the global economy functions for the next few years.

Why it matters: The federal government will probably neither mandate nor encourage digital immunity passports or other proofs of vaccination. But privately-operated digital certificates are already being developed — and U.S. law means that anybody who gets vaccinated here should be able to obtain the proof they need.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Dec 24, 2020 - Sports

Special report: The year in sports

The Milwaukee Bucks boycott their NBA playoff game to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 26. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It's been a year for sports unlike any other, and unlike we'll (hopefully) ever see again.

The big picture: While the outlook for sports during a pandemic looked grim at the outset, leagues got creative and found solutions. Fans adapted. Bubbles formed. Empty stadiums were filled with posterboards, stuffed animals and cardboard cutouts. Players adapted to a new world of isolation and cheerless games.