Washington student athletes must get vaccinated or test twice weekly

SPOKANE, Wash. – Thousands of high school kids are back in winter sports, but it’s not without a lot of extra precaution. 

The pandemic isn’t over yet and that means student-athletes have a choice: get vaccinated or get tested twice a week. 

High school and college sports have had this procedure for a while, but now it is expanding to middle school high-risk sports. This is mandated through the Department of Health and the WIAA.

Testing started back in October when middle school wrestling started. 

In West Valley schools, they have had only three positive cases in all middle and high school athletics and activities. That is three out of the 260 students who participate in sports. Of those, 56 percent are vaccinated.

“Being able to test and being able to compete, and being able to participate in sports and activities is a little more normal than it has been, “ said Victoria Leifer, Assistant Superintendent at WVSD. “We’re working on our way to normal by having students practice with masks off, being in competitions with masks off, and just kind of continue normal school activities.” 

The testing happens immediately after school and takes about 45 minutes. Those who choose to test are using rapid kits that show results within 10 minutes. 

If there are positives, students are pulled from the activity. 

Districts have partnered with the DOH and the test kids are delivered on a monthly basis at no cost to students, parents or insurance. 

READ: Washington student-athletes no longer need to mask up while playing, with exceptions