COVID-19 PROTOCOL UPDATES

Return to Activities Final

Below, please find the updated Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Return to Activities plan with the appendix.  This plan was developed utilizing the new Special Olympics International guidance that was issued earlier this month and tailored to meet the specific needs of SOPA.  Together, they provide guidance on training/competition, meetings/social gatherings, fundraising activities and Young Athletes.  All SOPA Local Programs are able to operate under this guidance beginning on Monday, July 26, 2021

Important to Note:

  • Special Olympics Pennsylvania is monitoring COVID-19 new cases daily per 100,000 people through the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
  • In order to follow the guidance provided in the summary table, the state of Pennsylvania must maintain a “low” COVID-19 community transmission rate of less than 10 new cases daily per 100,000 people or “moderate” COVID-19 community transmission rate of 11 to 15 new cases daily per 100,000 people.  The table notes those cases where different procedures must be followed if the site is in “moderate” versus “low.”
  • If a county in the state of Pennsylvania reverts to a “significant” COVID-19 community transmission rate of more than 15 new daily cases per 100,000 people, the percentage of fully vaccinated participants will be evaluated. 
  • If less than 80% of participants are fully vaccinated, the site must comply with the “significant” mitigation protocols.  These are listed at the back of the summary table.

State staff will communicate the COVID-19 community transmission rate (low, moderate or significant) with the Local Program Manager and site COVID-19 Coordinator via email on a weekly basis. Each site is required to follow all mitigation protocol requirements. 

To help you better understand this guidance and answer questions, we offered a Fall Return to Activities webinar.  All are strongly encouraged to review this webinar and PPT slide deck, especially coaches, to better understand our updated guidance.

It is exciting to be resuming in-person activities, and we hope this new guidance is simpler and easier to follow than previous guidance while still maintaining a primary focus on keeping everyone safe.  

One positive that has come from our work during the pandemic is a rededication to a key aspect of our core values and our mission which is “giving (our athletes) continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness.”  Through Athlete Performance Training, designed to elevate the fitness levels of athletes and improve their sports outcomes, we will work with each of you to provide a combination of coach-facilitated sports practices and at-home fitness programs.  Together, these will help ensure participants become healthier, more fit and live longer lives. 

To explain more about this focus on fitness, we will offer an Athlete Performance Training webinar on Tuesday, August 10th at 7:00 pm. REGISTER IN ADVANCE OF THIS MEETING HERE.

I hope you’ll participate in both of these upcoming webinars.  If you have specific questions in advance, please contact your Field Director.

Thank you for all you do for our athletes, and see you soon!

Matt Aaron

President & CEO


Following is our updated Return to Activities plan and resources to help you better understand what to expect. 

RESOURCES FOR EVERYONE:

RESOURCES FOR Managers, AssT. Managers, Sport & Competition, Training, FUNDRAISING, and COVID-19 Coordinators:

RESOURCES FOR COACHES:

RESOURCES FOR ATHLETES AND PARENTS/GUARDIANS:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT:

COMMUNICABLE DISEASES PARTICIPANT (ATHLETE AND VOLUNTEER) RISK ASSESSMENT, CODE OF CONDUCT, AND WAIVER

Q: Who must complete the COMMUNICABLE DISEASES PARTICIPANT (ATHLETE AND VOLUNTEER) RISK ASSESSMENT, CODE OF CONDUCT, AND WAIVER?

A: Every participant (athletes, Unified partners, coaches, volunteers, family members, caregivers or others in attendance of an activity) is required to complete the COMMUNICABLE DISEASES PARTICIPANT (ATHLETE AND VOLUNTEER) RISK ASSESSMENT, CODE OF CONDUCT, AND WAIVER prior to the start of an in-person activity.


Q: How do people without a computer complete the COMMUNICABLE DISEASES PARTICIPANT (ATHLETE AND VOLUNTEER) RISK ASSESSMENT, CODE OF CONDUCT, AND WAIVER?

A: The COMMUNICABLE DISEASES PARTICIPANT (ATHLETE AND VOLUNTEER) RISK ASSESSMENT, CODE OF CONDUCT, AND WAIVER must be electronically signed and submitted via Google Forms.
If a participant does not have access to submit electronically or ability to send a photo of the completed form to the site COVID-19 Coordinator, participant must schedule a call with the site COVID-19 Coordinator at least 24 hours prior to the first in-person activity to verbally provide their answers to the site COVID-19 Coordinator.
Site COVID-19 Coordinator will enter form electronically based on information provided by participant.
Participant must bring a completed paper form to the first in-person activity and provide to the site COVID-19 Coordinator upon arrival at first practice.


Q: What happens if a participant refuses to sign the COMMUNICABLE DISEASES PARTICIPANT (ATHLETE AND VOLUNTEER) RISK ASSESSMENT, CODE OF CONDUCT, AND WAIVER?

A: This participant would not be able to participate in any in-person activities. Prior to returning to any in-person SOPA activities in Phases B through E, all participants are required to complete and return a COMMUNICABLE DISEASES PARTICIPANT (ATHLETE AND VOLUNTEER) RISK ASSESSMENT, CODE OF CONDUCT, AND WAIVER.