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COVID-19 outbreaks traced to high school wrestling tournaments

For immediate release: December 15, 2021   (21-249)

Contact: DOH Communications

Public inquiries: State COVID-19 Information Hotline, 1-800-525-0127

COVID-19 outbreaks traced to high school wrestling tournaments

Dozens of cases impacting several counties in Washington

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Health (DOH), in collaboration with several local public health jurisdictions, is investigating multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 among vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, connected to high school wrestling tournaments. The number of cases linked to the events is estimated to be between 80 and 90, but as this investigation is ongoing, the total may change. As of 11 a.m. Dec. 15, DOH has confirmed three cases connected to the outbreaks are the omicron variant.

The impacted wrestling tournaments all happened on Dec. 4, 2021 and include:

  • John Birbeck Invitational in Lacey, WA
  • Ed Arima Duals in Sumner, WA
  • Lady Jags Kickoff Tournament in Puyallup, WA
  • Yelm Girls Varsity in Yelm, WA

Counties that had high school(s) in attendance include Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Skagit, Snohomish, Pierce, Thurston, Whatcom, and Yakima. A high school in Oregon also sent participants.

Over the coming days, local health jurisdictions will likely send out notifications to the impacted schools with further guidance for next steps. DOH recommends that anyone who attended these events as a participant, coach, official, support staff, or spectator should monitor for symptoms and get tested for COVID-19. Further, anyone with symptoms or who tests positive should stay home from work, school, childcare or social activities.

This outbreak serves as a clear reminder that COVID-19 continues to spread in our communities. The best protection against it is to get vaccinated, and then for those 16 years and older to get a booster shot as soon as they are eligible. Children between the ages of 5 and 11 are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and should start their two-shot series immediately. COVID-19 prevention measures that are part of statewide K-12 requirements and sports guidance include consistent and proper mask wearing. These requirements state, “Universal masking is required indoors at all times when not actively practicing or competing.”

A team of DOH epidemiologists, in collaboration with local health jurisdiction epidemiologists, is working on gathering more information about these events and the corresponding COVID-19 cases. This is a dynamic situation and evolving investigation, and we will share updates as we learn more.

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