AURORA -- The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced Monday night it was requiring COVID testing for those participating in the state wrestling tournaments this weekend.
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In a letter to Colorado High School Activities Association Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green, the CDPHE said it was publishing a report that highlights increased changes for wrestlers to contract the disease during competition.
"Outbreaks associated with school-sponsored and club wrestling, where masks are not worn in competition, are currently growing," the letter said. "As of 3/3/21, 15 outbreaks associated with wrestling have been reported to CDPHE, with 61 documented cases of COVID-19 that are attributed to those outbreaks."
CDPHE also said there were nine additional outbreaks in schools associated with wrestling.
"Even when there are a relatively small number of COVID-19 cases among wrestlers, the impact can be large." the letter said. "In one wrestling outbreak, nine cases resulted in 131 close contacts being quarantined and 389 students being moved to remote learning."
A March 8 letter from the health department to Adams 12 Superitnendent Chris Gdowski said wrestlers who are in quarantine after an exposure nay compete after seven days of quarantine and a negative onsite test result at state.
Gdowski raised concerns about the length of quarantines for student-athletes vs. the rest of the student population last week. CDPHE shrunk the length of the quarantine from 14 days to 10.
CDPHE also said it would send letters to parents and coaches outlining how to get a rapid test the day of the competiion or a test 72 hours in advance of the meets.
In a tweet Monday night, Blanford-Green said she disagreed with CDPHE's findings. Others followed suit.
"The 'virus variant' is being 'transmitted undetected among athletes'? How could anyone possibly know this? It's undetected," tweeted Trevan Pepper.
The girls tournament begins Thursday, March 11. The two-day boys tournament begins Friday, March 12. Both are at the Southwest Motors Events Center in Pueblo.
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