High faculty wrestling in Clark County has been put on pause till Jan. 3 after greater than 30 COVID-19 instances have been detected amongst native wrestlers.
The announcement on Thursday got here after a suggestion by Clark County Public Health to droop all wrestling competitors, follow and journey on account of COVID.
On Wednesday, the Washington State Department of Health introduced that greater than 80 COVID instances had been traced to wrestling tournaments held Dec. 4 at Lacey, Sumner, Puyallup and Yelm.
Those occasions concerned wrestlers from 13 Washington counties, together with Clark.
Clark County Public Health beneficial schools pause the game on account of a number of instances of COVID amongst native wrestlers and the detection of the brand new Omicron variant amongst instances linked to the Dec. 4 tournaments.
“As of this afternoon, we’ve got recognized 32 instances amongst wrestling groups at 5 Clark County schools,” Clark County Public Health spokesperson Marissa Armstrong stated. “Some of those instances have been linked to the tournaments DOH introduced. Some didn’t attend these tournaments however participated in different wrestling occasions within the final two weeks.”
COVID outbreaks have led to a number of high faculty basketball video games being cancelled over the previous week.
“Clark County Public Health isn’t at the moment recommending pausing different winter sports activities,” Armstrong stated. “However, we’ve got inspired schools to evaluation their screening, testing, journey, and masking protocols to make sure they’re as sturdy as doable.”
The shutdown comes simply earlier than two massive wrestling tournaments had been set to happen in Clark County.
Ridgefield High School was set to host the Draper Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
Mountain View was making ready to host the Pacific Coast Championships subsequent week. It’s the world’s largest event and was set to incorporate 40 groups from Washington and Oregon.
Ridgefield Athletic Director Brynan Shipley stated she is hopeful a rescheduled Draper Invitational will occur in January.
“It could be very unlucky that we’ve got to pause all wrestling actions,” Shipley stated. “But we’re hopeful that with a break over the subsequent couple of weeks we will have a full return come January third.”
Mountain View Athletic Director Adam Mathieson stated he had a sense earlier than Thursday’s announcement that the Pacific Coast Championships could be in jeopardy.
“Our at first precedence is the protection of the children,” Mathieson stated. “Your thoughts jumps to issues like Pac Coast. You go ‘uh oh, I can really feel the path that is going.’ ”
He stated it’s unlikely the event shall be rescheduled, a minimum of at its unique scale, because of the sheer variety of groups and the will to not battle with different tournaments later within the season.
The Ridgefield School District despatched a letter Thursday informing wrestlers, coaches and oldsters of the pause.
“It is the hope that taking this motion now will assist sluggish transmission and supply time to re-evaluate practices within the new yr,” the letter learn. “Upon getting back from winter break on January third, we are going to work with Clark County Public Health to debate a restart plan.”
The letter stated areas all through the state are having comparable discussions about pausing wrestling.
Woodland High School Athletic Director Paul Huddleston stated that district, which principally attracts from Cowlitz County, will determine Friday whether or not to pause wrestling.
An announcement from Vancouver Public Schools concerning the wrestling pause stated there have been no reported instances amongst VPS college students linked to the Dec. 4 tournaments. Several college students, nonetheless, had been recognized as shut contacts.
“We know that is very disappointing to our wrestling athletes, households and followers,” the announcement stated. “But we don’t wish to threat the well being of those teams, in addition to our larger communities by ignoring this well being steerage. Thank you to your persistence and understanding.”
Shipley stated she understands the frustration amongst wrestlers, whose 2020 high faculty season was largely worn out apart from a couple of outside occasions in spring of 2021.
Mathieson echoed that sentiment, however stated wrestlers and athletes generally are geared up to deal with adversity.
“It’s been difficult for that group,” Mathieson stated. “There’s going to be pure frustration. But you additionally must take a deep breath and say ‘OK, we’re protected. What’s our response going to be once we’re known as on to compete.’ ”