The Washington State Department of Health is updating the health and safety requirements for high contact indoor sports in the wake of a multi-school, multi-county outbreak. The outbreaks are linked to a series of wrestling tournaments held in early December and are linked to an estimated 200 COVID-19 cases. Genomic sequencing recently confirmed at least three cases are omicron.
DOH takes these outbreaks very seriously and is changing the existing guidance by adding the following health and safety measures for all indoor, high-contact sports and activities (basketball, wrestling, water polo, and competitive cheer), effective immediately:
- Required testing of all athletes, coaches, trainers and support personnel, regardless of vaccination status.
- 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.
In addition, DOH wants to remind people of existing requirements for all K-12 sporting events that help keep athletes, staff and families safer when attending these events:
- All indoor-event spectators must wear masks and should distance from other families or households to the degree possible.
- Mask wearing is required among all athletes, coaches, trainers and support personnel in indoor public spaces except when actively competing.
- Referees must wear masks except when actively officiated and running.