COVID-19 outbreak linked to HS wrestling tournaments

Grays Harbor wrestlers were among those at high school wrestling tournaments linked to COVID outbreaks.

The Washington State Department of Health is investigating multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 among both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at the wrestling tournaments. 

According to a release, the number of cases linked to the events is estimated to be between 80 and 90, but as this investigation is ongoing. That total may change. 

The tournaments all occurred 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

DOH states that Grays Harbor was among over a dozen counties that participated in these events.

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.

Local health departments were expected to send out notifications in the coming days 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.”