As we previously stated in an announcement on March 11, we are taking the threat of COVID-19 (coronavirus) seriously. Our number one priority is keeping our athletes and constituents safe.
On March 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidelines to postpone or cancel in-person events that consist of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.
Special Olympics Missouri is following the guidance of the CDC, Special Olympics Inc., and Special Olympics North America by officially extending the suspension of all sports trainings (including practices), competitions, and other program-related activities involving our athletes through MAY 31, 2020.
At this time we are evaluating the feasibility of State Summer Games in Columbia (June 5-7) and how it will be impacted. We will be in contact as we learn more, so stay tuned.
If you have program-related questions, please contact Trish Lutz (Lutz@somo.org).
It will require ALL of us taking every precautionary measure to ensure that everyone stays as healthy as possible. Please join us in taking this seriously for the safety of all of our athletes and the safety of our community at large. It’s important that we all stay positive over the next few weeks. We’ll get through this by supporting each other, practicing safe social distancing, checking in on one another, and spreading facts, not fear. Keep the faith and know that we are all in this together.
We are in the process of creating virtual programs to engage Special Olympics Missouri athletes and fans during this time. Currently, our athlete-leaders are leading exercise, hygiene, and cooking sessions on our Facebook channel two times per day. We look forward to offering other forms of programming via our social media channels, including leadership and life skills courses in the near future.
To see all updates related to coronavirus, including past online learning sessions and a calendar of upcoming sessions, please visit www.SOMO.org/CoronavirusUpdate on a regular basis.
SOI has prepared a list of frequently asked questions on the topic of virus prevention and control that you can reference. The CDC also has a lot of great information that is updated regularly (including how to avoid contraction of the virus if you are in the group of higher-risk individuals).
SOI has developed a 30-minute eLearning course for the Special Olympics community about COVID-19. This course is designed to cover the basic information about the coronavirus. To take the course, visit www.learn.specialolympics.org.
If you become aware of anyone in the Special Olympics Missouri family who becomes infected with coronavirus, immediately alert Susan Stegeman (Stegeman@somo.org).
Here are some tips to help make sure we all stay healthy:
• If you’re feeling even slightly under the weather or you’re running a fever, please stay home. Whether you’re an athlete, coach, family member or volunteer, please don’t put everyone else at risk because you don’t want to miss something. We know missing out isn’t any fun, but taking the chance that someone could get sick because of your actions isn’t fun either.
• Wash your hands after using the restroom and before eating — do so for AT LEAST 20 seconds.
• Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and open bathroom doors, not your freshly-washed hands
• Avoid touching your face
• Sneeze or cough into your arm, not your hands
• Avoid shaking hands and high-fives
• Avoid drinking from the same cup or bottle as someone else
• Set up a home training regimen with your local athletes to make sure everyone still stays in shape
Keep an eye on our social media accounts over the next week as we work with our athlete-leaders to develop a training plan for our athletes to stay fit in this time without practices
• For updates on the virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website daily
For all future updates on the virus and how it affects Special Olympics Missouri, please visit www.SOMO.org.