We have made a few calls but have not heard back from area athletic directors yet.

DOH MANDATES TESTING FOR WINTER ATHLETES REGARDLESS OF VAX STATUS

Friday morning, the Washington State Department of Health mandated new 'guidance' for any school that competes via the WIAA, Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

Previously, athletes who were vaccinated did not have to test, and those who did not have a vaccination had to test twice a week.

Now going forward, all athletes involved in what DOH calls "high" or close contact sports will be required to test 3 times a week, including what appears to be a mandatory test the day of a game or event.

This includes boys and girls basketball, wrestling boys and girls, cheer, and water polo.

From DOH:

  • Increased testing frequency to three times per week. Among those screening tests, at least one must occur no sooner than the day before the competition; ideally, and whenever possible, the day of the event.

It also includes coaches, trainers, and others who work with teams, AND it's regardless of vaccination status. These mandates are the result of what the DOH says is a COVID outbreak they are blaming on four west side wrestling tournaments the weekend of December 4th. They claim 200 cases traced back to athletes, spectators and others at the events.

  Previously, athletes who were vaccinated did not have to test, and those who did not have a vaccination had to test twice a week.

We made a few calls to various athletic directors around the Mid Columbia Conference, one of the athletic offices indicated they had not yet seen the new mandates, as they had just been released.

We also have been following up on allegations that a number of west side high schools and middle schools have canceled the rest of their wrestling seasons or postponed matches, but have not been able to corroborate this. However, it is apparently happening as the Department of Health included this statement:

"DOH also recognizes some of the affected local health, education, or athletic leaders are choosing to postpone or cancel sporting events or pause sporting activities in order to stop further spread of the disease. There may be differences in how these activities are handled, so we would encourage people to be patient with any potential process or scheduling changes at the local level."

However, based upon the input we have received recently, and through these COVID athletic times, many of these schools have canceled events or combined or trimmed teams due to athletes choosing not to 'jump through hoops' just to play a sport.

As of this writing,  NO MCC wrestling events are affected. We will continue to update this story.

 

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