Re: Letter to DOH with no response
Posted by DOS RESPONSE 1 on 5/6/2021, 1:16 pm, in reply to "Letter to DOH with no response"
Testing Requirements for Wrestling Competition |
Thank you for sharing your perspective on the current requirements for high school wrestling. Wrestling
is classified as a high-contact sport in Washington State per the Sporting Activities guidance established
by the Governor’s office. This places participants at increased risk for transmission of COVID-19, as
compared to sports classified as either low- or moderate-contact. The CDC defines a close contact as
someone who spends 15 minutes or more within six feet of a person with COVID-19 over a period of 24
hours, irrespective of either individual wearing a cloth face covering. This is not an absolute, however, as
transmission risk is also affected by whether individuals are coughing, sneezing, and/or breathing heavily,
all of which increase the production of aerosols. Athletes participating in high-contact sports are required
to wear face coverings.
COVID-19 outbreaks have been associated with wrestling when athletes are not wearing face coverings.
These have included those in Florida, Minnesota/North Dakota , New Hampshire, and Louisiana.
States have taken different approaches to limit COVID-19 transmission. Some have required face
coverings during practices and/or competitions. Delaware, Pennsylvania, Arizona allowed local public
health to determine mitigation strategies; California and others delayed their seasons; culminating events
have either been canceled or limited; and Hawaii and Vermont canceled their seasons.
Consistent with NCAA guidance, college athletes have been undergoing routine screening testing for
practice and competitions. California requires testing for athletes participating in high-contact sports in
communities with high rates of transmission. In response to the surge in cases in Michigan, the state
instituted regular testing of athletes in March 2021. And Minnesota has recently advised weekly testing
for athletes, referees and coaches.
The CDC recommends testing for athletes in its updated Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through
Washington State Department of Health, in conjunction with the Washington Interstate Athletics
Association, developed a mitigation program to decrease transmission risk in high-contact sports. Given
both the athletic calendar and available resources, wrestling and water polo were chosen for program
implementation. Again, thank you for sharing your questions and concerns.