COVID outbreaks traced to Washington high school wrestling tournaments

Dec 15, 2021, 12:50 PM | Updated: 1:18 pm
Shoes on a wrestling mat. (File photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(File photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Recent high school wrestling tournaments in Washington have now been linked to multiple outbreaks of COVID-19, among vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

Washington seeing ‘rapid rise’ of omicron variant cases leading into holiday season

The Washington State Department of Health is investigating the outbreaks in collaboration with local public health jurisdictions. Currently, the number of cases linked to the wrestling events is estimated to be between 80 and 90 cases, but that total may change as the investigation continues.

Anyone who attended wrestling tournaments on Dec. 4 in Lacey, Sumner, Puyallup, and Yelm may have been exposed, state health officials say.

“That includes wrestlers, coaches, and some family members and spectators across 20 schools that have been reported to us to date,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, King County health officer.

Duchin says about 80% of the positive tests are in those fully vaccinated, meaning they are mostly breakthrough cases. One person was hospitalized briefly. Dr. Duchin also says the outbreak is not limited to the four South Sound tournaments, and that people who went to seven other wrestling events are reporting COVID cases as well.

The state DOH recommends that anyone who attended the events as a participant, coach, official, support staff, or spectator should monitor for symptoms and get tested. Anyone with symptoms or who tests positive should stay home from work, school, child care, and other social activities.

Marking one year of COVID-19 vaccines in Washington

Teams from 13 Washington counties were involved in the tournaments, including those from nearly every county bordering Puget Sound. A high school in Oregon also sent participants.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.

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COVID outbreaks traced to Washington high school wrestling tournaments