By way of information released by the Walla Walla School District, some BIG changes are now in effect immediately for all middle and high school winter sports going on now.

These are NOT just for WWSD but for all MS and HS sports in WA.

These changes will affect what the WIAA (Washington Interscholastic Activities Association) calls "high-contact" sports.  The WIAA does NOT set these COVID guidelines, they are 'passed down' from the Department of Health and state officials.

NO MORE M-W-F or 3X A WEEK COVID TESTING

As of today, Wednesday January 26th, boys and girls wrestling and basketball and dance/cheer will not require 3 tests a week for athletes. Our daughter plays basketball at Highlands Middle School and even vaccinated athletes have to test M-W-F.

Now, these athletes will be tested on game days, or prior to every official scheduled athletic competition. From the WIAA:

"Test high-contact sport athletes (basketball, wrestling and cheer) the day of competition. Mandatory screening testing of asymptomatic athletes three times a week is no longer required. "

 IF STUDENT HAS HAD COVID IN PREVIOUS 90 DAYS NO TESTING REQUIRED

From the WIAA:

"A student-athlete does not need to test if they have tested positive and recovered from COVID in the last 90 days. Ensure universal masking of all athletes during all practices/training for these high-risk sports."

NO MORE MASKING DURING COMPETITIONS

From the WIAA:

"Universal masking of all athletes during practices/trainings will be required, but not during competitions"

This last one was practically on the way out anyway, for example, during a series of Kennewick middle school girls basketball games Monday the players were not wearing masks.

And one more statement from the WIAA (by way of WW School District):

"Coaches, trainers, and staff will not be required to be tested but must wear masks in all practices/training AND competitions."

Superintendent Chris Rykdahl released a statement about these changes that read in part:

“Effective immediately, in support of our goal to support in-person learning and in order to maximize constrained COVID testing supplies for symptomatic students and staff as well as close contacts participating in Test-to-Stay or returning from quarantine, DOH is changing the testing frequency for high-contact sports,"

 

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