DOH traces COVID-19 outbreak to high school wrestling tournaments

Prairie High School athletes among those who tested positive after competing in a Dec. 4 event in Puyallup, and the DOH says between 80 and 90 wrestlers throughout the state tested positive for COVID-19

Some Prairie athletes and one Camas athlete tested positive, while other schools in Clark County say their athletes have not tested positive

More than 80 high school wrestlers from schools across the state, including some from Clark County, have tested positive for COVID-19 after competing in one of four events.

The Washington State Department of Health said that local health jurisdictions will be sending out notifications to impacted schools.

Prairie High School did have athletes test positive after the girls wrestling team competed in the Lady Jags Kickoff Tournament in Puyallup on Dec. 4, according to Manny Melo, the school’s athletic director.

“We’re doing what the Department of Health is telling us,” Melo said. “Isolate the kids who are positive and isolate close contacts. We’re following the guidance.”

Several other Clark County schools had wrestlers at the Lady Jags tournament or the John Birbeck Invitational in Lacey, the Ed Arima Duals in Sumner, or the Yelm Girls event. All of those events took place Dec. 4.

Camas High School also reported one wrestler who competed on Dec. 4 had tested positive. All other wrestlers in the program have been tested multiple times since then and have been negative.

It is estimated between 80 and 90 wrestlers, vaccinated and unvaccinated, throughout the state tested positive following competition.

The DOH recommends that participants, coaches, officials, support staff, and spectators at these events monitor for symptoms and get tested for COVID-19.

Clark County Today reached out to several athletic directors from schools that were scheduled to attend these events. Prairie is the only one to report any positive tests. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

As of Wednesday, there have been no positive tests in the high school wrestling programs at the four Evergreen Public Schools nor the four programs in Vancouver Public Schools, according to spokesmen.

Washougal reports no issues within its wrestling program. 

La Center had athletes at one of the listed tournaments. Matt Cooke, the athletic director, said La Center wrestlers have tested three times since then, and there have been no positive tests within the program.

No issues at Ridgefield, according to Brynan Shipley, the school’s AD. 

Some school districts in other parts of the state have reportedly put their wrestling programs on pause. And there was a rumor that the state was going to do the same thing. But as of Wednesday, that is not the case.

“Ridgefield is still planning to host our Draper Invite Friday and Saturday, following all current protocols,” Shipley said.

It is important to note that Clark County Today did not get a hold of every school district in the state. There might have been more athletes from the region at these four tournaments. 

A team of epidemiologists is working on gathering more information about these events, according to the DOH. It is an “evolving” investigation. The DOH said it will share more updates as it learns more about this outbreak.

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1 year ago

And they are all fine right? Where is that part of the story. They are young healthy kids who probably have mild symptoms. Stop making it such a big deal. Whether your vaxxed or not you still can get it and give it. No difference.

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