** Update: 2/8, 5:45PM: Comcast Arena is undertaking a deep cleaning of all areas in accordance with the CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines, as a preventative measure before its next event this Friday, February 10th. **
** Update: 2/8, 1PM: WA State Dept. of Health is now working with WIAA (Washington Interscholastic Activities Association ) and local county health departments to contact all individuals who have fallen ill since Saturday’s competition in an effort to determine the type of virus involved. Nearly 60 high schools participated in the event. Seven Lynden (near Bellingham) cheerleaders and their coach got sick after the even as well. It’s estimated 4,000 people attended the competition; 1,000 participants and 3,000 spectators. **
Six Mount Si High School cheerleaders are part of the growing number of local cheerleaders sickened after performing at the Washington State High School Cheer Competition this past Saturday, February 4th, at Comcast Arena in Everett. MSHS Cheer Coach, Jessii Stevens, confirmed there are six affected girls on her squad. Mount Si High School administration is urging students to wash hands often and not share food/drink.
The Washington State Department of Health is currently investigating the possible outbreak. Twenty state high schools have reported sickened cheerleaders and/or staff, including some who required hospitalization for flu-like symptoms. Dozens have become sick state-wide since Saturday’s competition. The source of the illness is not yet known. Food concessions, tumbling mats or even an airborne virus are all considered possibilities.
Komo 4 News is airing this story from Mount Si High School as the lead for its 6PM newscast tonight, February 7th.
For more details from Washington State Dept. of Health click here: Cheerleader tourney illnesses