Vancouver, WA — Local high schools are following Clark County Public Health recommendations and suspending the current wrestling season for two weeks due to multiple COVID-19 outbreaks that have been linked to high school wrestling tournaments in Washington.
Thirty COVID cases have been linked to local wrestlers.
The DOH is investigating outbreaks at four different wrestling tournaments that all happened Dec. 4, and pushed for the suspension.
The department said the number of cases linked to the events is estimated to be between 80 and 90 statewide. The Snohomish County Health Department said there are at least 33 confirmed cases in their county.
“This would be considered a very large outbreak,” said Dr. Scott Lindquist, the state’s top epidemiologist with the Washington State Department of Health. “This does not bode well. Really the icing on this cake is these are turning out at least some percentage of the omicron variant that is much, much more infectious,” Lindquist said.
The cases are among vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, the DOH said.
The tournaments are:
• John Birbeck Invitational in Lacey, Washington.
• Ed Arima Duals in Sumner, Washington.
• Lady Jags Kickoff Tournament in Puyallup, Washington.
• Yelm Girls Varsity in Yelm, Washington.
Students from Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Skagit, Snohomish, Pierce, Thurston, Whatcom, and Yakima counties were in attendance. A high school in Oregon also sent students.
The DOH is continuing to investigate the outbreaks and will share more information as it becomes available.
“My hope is that the state allows wrestlers who are vaccinated or test negative to continue their participation in wrestling,” said John Constien, Camas Boys Wrestling Head Coach. “My hope is that there are alternatives to just cancelling the season that still allow us to compete against other schools safely and have a post-season.”
None of these new cases have been traced to Camas wrestlers.
“I am hurting for our seniors who have dedicated 7+ years to me and this program who are looking at the possibility of not having an opportunity to compete for state titles as upperclassman,” Constien said.