Important Information – COVID-19

Please be advised that the provincial office is closed as of March 16th, 2020 until further notice.

Please direct all questions by email at covid19@specialolympicsontario.com or by phone at 1-888-333-5515 ext. 311.


June 30, 2021

Communication Advisory

We are entering a period of uncertainty as we begin to open up programs and services. Every organization is subject to the same realities and must take reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of its members.

Special Olympics Ontario (SOO) have a number of factors to consider based on WHO and HOW we service our constituents, the degree of risk, the diverse make-up of our sports and other offerings and the volunteer nature by which these services are delivered.

Return to Sport:

SOO will be working with our volunteers, other sport bodies and local health units to open programs on a regional basis. In deciding when and how to open programs, SOO will comply with provincial reopening legislation. The province has moved away from the regional colour coded system and is now using health metrics and provincial vaccination status to guide reopening on a province-wide basis. Irrespective of the health metrics or vaccination status of particular regions, the guidance and approval to open a SOO program MUST be done through the provincial office. https://www1.specialolympicsontario.com/return-to-program

Health & Safety Measures:

The duty of SOO is to take reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of its employees, volunteers and the athletes while participating in SOO programs. SOO has established health and safety protocols aimed at keeping everyone safe.

All programs must follow the COVID-19 safety protocols that have been established for each sport. These measures can only be adjusted by the provincial office. Decisions to adjust SOO health and safety protocols will be made considering, among other things, evolving public health guidelines and provincial legislation.

Any adaptions to SOO’s health and safety protocols (which may be sport specific) must be approved by the provincial office as part of SOO return to sport/program procedures (via a sport reopening application).

Athletes:

The personal safety of our participants is a priority for SOO. Every athlete must be a registered member and have updated their status before engaging in program activities. As part of this process, we (SOO) will ask the individual to voluntarily disclose their vaccination status. However, participants who decline to provide this information will be permitted to be registered members of SOO and participate in SOO programs (subject to any legislative, public health and/or external requirements).

SOO’s health and safety protocols are the same for all athletes but the protocols may be modified for certain sports based on applicable public health guidelines and/or provincial legislation. We anticipate that our health and safety protocols will evolve over time as public health guidelines change. SOO will provide regular and updated guidelines to our programs.

Every effort will be made to reasonably accommodate athletes who may require program modifications to allow for participation.

Having had a vaccine is not mandatory for local program participation for athletes but may be a standard set for other forms of competition, such as traveling teams to major games and this is yet to be determined.

Volunteers:

SOO will take reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of our volunteers while they are participating in SOO programs. Every volunteer must be a registered member and must have updated their status before engaging in program activities. As part of this process, we (SOO) will ask the individual to voluntarily disclose their vaccination status (and, in the case of coaches, provide proof of vaccination).

All volunteers who intend to return to in person coaching must provide proof of vaccination. Given the level of contact between coaches and athletes (many of whom are at high risk of developing severe adverse reactions to COVID-19), volunteers who are not vaccinated (or choose not to disclose their vaccination status as part of the status update process described above) are not permitted to return to in person coaching, but may volunteer in roles that do not require vaccination (administration, virtual coaching, etc.).

These conditions may evolve over time, as public health guidelines change.

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information by clicking here.

Should you have any questions or would like to speak with a staff person about the pandemic please email covid19@specialolympicsontario.com or call 1-888-333-5515 ext. 311 and leave a message and we will follow up.

Thank you for your understanding,

Glenn MacDonell
President & CEO


COVID-19 Vaccine Information

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Once you've received your vaccineDownload, Colour and Share Why You Got Your Vaccine on Social Media!

Special Olympics encourages everyone who has access to the COVID-19 vaccine to get vaccinated. The vaccine will help protect both you and the people around you. Check with your local health authorities to find out when you can get the COVID-19 vaccine. Below are resources and frequently asked questions regarding the vaccine (click on the images below to view full sized versions).

What you need to know about the COVID-19 Vaccine

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COVID-19 Vaccine: Myth vs Fact

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Things to know about the COVID Vaccine

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What happens when I get the COVID Vaccine

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Kory's Story: Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Special Olympics Ontario continues to proactively monitor the situation with COVID-19. The health and safety of program and event participants are our top priority, and we encourage everyone to follow public health best practices and current information. Please see below for additional information regarding what we currently know about COVID-19 and updates from Special Olympics Ontario.

Info for Athletes & Caregivers
What Can I Do?

Resources

Special Olympics Ontario recommends using Ontario and Canadian health authorities for information on COVID-19, including: 

For those looking to stay active in the absence of events and programming, please check out theat-home training and health resources on the SO Healthy @ Home website.