KANSAS CITY, Mo. – If you want to cheer on the Chiefs in a suite this season, you’ll have to give up some saliva for a coronavirus test.
On Wednesday, fans with tickets to Thursday’s game who hope to watch from suites dropped off their tests outside Arrowhead or Clinical Reference Laboratory in Lenexa.
They’ll have to test negative if they want a seat in those suites.
The Chiefs go the go-ahead from the Kansas City Health Department to allow 100% capacity in suites. A spokesperson for the team said if someone is planning to attend in a suite, they have to go through this testing process since they are smaller, indoor seating areas as opposed to fans sitting in open air.
Dr. Rex Archer, director of the Kansas City Health Department, said that negative test result has to come within 72 hours of the game.
“For that one rare person that might miss that window and turn positive, we will then know everybody that was in the window so that we can do quick contact tracing and stop the outbreak,” Archer said.
Clinical Reference Laboratory expects to do anywhere from 1,200-1,500 tests on home game weeks. They take about 12 hours to get results.
“The question really was could we get the testing done in that tight of a timeframe,” said Robert Thompson, chief executive officer of CRL.
“We’re definitely built to handle it,” said Heather Fehling, chief scientific officer.
Fehling said their detailed saliva test is 100% accurate, and that’s why the Chiefs chose to use it.
“They’re definitely taking the high road here,” Thompson said. “This is the most sensitive test that can be run.”
As for precautions inside the suites, the mask policy still applies — just as it does for everyone else inside Arrowhead Stadium.