Submitted by Lewis County Public Health & Social Services

In careful consideration of feedback from community members, Lewis County Public Health & Social Services (LCPHSS) Health Officer Dr. Rachel Wood has issued a new sporting events Health Officer Order on July 22. The new order states, “No indoor or outdoor sporting events, including but not limited to individual, double, round-robin, tournament, or conference games, involving participants of any age who reside outside of Lewis County shall be conducted in Lewis County until further notice.”

This new order replaces the previous order issued July 21, 2020 and takes effect immediately. It cancels all indoor or outdoor sporting events that would draw participants from outside Lewis County, such as players, coaches, staff, family, and supporters.

“The ultimate purpose of this order is to reduce cross-county transmission of the COVID-19 virus through sporting events,” Dr. Wood said. The COVID-19 virus is spread primarily through exhaled droplets. Sporting events place people who are breathing heavily in close proximity for extended periods of time. Wood said that is a prime opportunity to spread the virus. Participants traveling together for extended periods to and from events is also a known risk factor for virus spread.

“Wearing a mask under exertion, social distancing, and keeping equipment and surfaces clean are all problematic while involved in a game,” Wood said. “This order is a painful, but logical step to reduce virus spread.”

LCPHSS Director J.P. Anderson said that while this new order covers all age groups, it is also an important piece of the complicated work happening now around schools reopening. “We support efforts to provide the best chance of resuming safe, in-person instruction to the greatest degree possible,” he said. Anderson said that limiting virus transmission through sports is a safety measure, adding, “And to that end, we understand the action by the Washington State Interscholastic Activities Association to move fall sports to spring.”

Download a copy of the complete order at: https://phsscovid19.lewiscountywa.gov/.

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