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New Covid restrictions for indoor contact sports in Washington

Screenshot from WIAA video

Washington health authorities have issued new guidance for athletes who participate in indoor winter sports. It's a response to Covid outbreaks related to several recent high school wrestling tournaments.The new guidelines pertain to high contact sports such as wrestling, basketball, water polo and competitive cheering events.

The state says athletes, coaches and trainers, even those who have been vaccinated, must be tested no more than one day before a game or match. And they must undergo tests at least three times a week during their seasons. The rules take effect immediately.

When they’re not competing, the state requires athletes to be masked in indoor public spaces.

The Department of Health also has rules for spectators. They, too, must be masked and, when possible, maintain some physical distance from other fans.

State officials say these rules are necessary to minimize the possibility of future superspreader events. They say about 200 people in western Washington contracted Covid, including three with omicron, at a series of wrestling tournaments during the first week of December.