Updates on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

March 11, 2020 Blog

COVID-19 Update: State Summer Games and Extended Office Closure

(March 27, 2020) – We greatly appreciate everyone’s patience as we, like every other organization in the country, continue to monitor the coronavirus situation and make difficult decisions about how to move forward while keeping the health and safety of our communities as a top priority.

On Friday, March 20, we shared the decision to cancel all Special Olympics Wisconsin competitions and practices through May 31, 2020. We now feel it is necessary to extend this decision through the State Summer Games scheduled to take place June 4-6, 2020.

Special Olympics Wisconsin is not alone in making this difficult decision. 38 other Special Olympics programs across the country are also canceling their State Summer Games events this year.

Our hope is that athletes will be able to begin practicing and resuming Special Olympics activities as soon as possible. In the coming weeks, we will evaluate if we can incorporate some of the Summer Games sports/events into the Outdoor Sports Tournament at Carroll University on July 31 – August 1, 2020. All options will be explored with a decision made by the time athletes are able to begin practicing again.

We are all extremely disappointed to be in a position where we cannot offer every opportunity possible to athletes across the state but this decision is of course based on these unprecedented circumstances and again, with everyone’s health and well-being as our primary concern.

Finally, we are extending our office closure until April 30, 2020. Staff will continue to work remotely through this time. Our offices will reopen on May 1, 2020, unless otherwise advised by state and/or federal entities.

We will continue to be in communication with you over the coming weeks. Take care and stay safe!

Kathleen J. Roach, MPH, MBA
President & CEO
Special Olympics Wisconsin

Coronavirus update: all competitions and practices canceled through May 31

(March 20, 2020) – After careful consideration of new developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have made the difficult decision to cancel all Special Olympics Wisconsin competitions and practices through May 31. While canceling events and practices is disappointing for athletes who love to train and compete alongside their friends, we know that our love of sport does not compare to the importance of protecting the health of our athletes and their surrounding communities.

This decision was made in light of updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the state of Wisconsin. On March 15, the CDC recommended postponing or canceling in-person events that consist of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks. On March 17, Governor Evers issued a State of Emergency for Wisconsin that prohibits social gatherings of 10 or more people.

Because of the seriousness of this pandemic and the sacrifices that will be necessary to minimize its impact on our society, it will require ALL of us doing what we can to help ensure that everyone stays as healthy as possible. We ask that all of the Special Olympics Wisconsin community join us in taking this seriously for the safety of all of our athletes and the safety of our communities 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, monitoring and following the guidelines of the CDC, checking in on one another, and keeping our community strong via internet and phone technologies.

Now more than ever, it’s imperative that we find creative and remote ways to maintain and even strengthen the connections that are so important to our athletes and communities. To that end, we have created a SOWI Fitness at Home Facebook group for our athletes and supporters during this time. The group will be used to share tips on staying active at home and serve as an inclusive virtual community where people with and without ID can stay fit, happy and connected, all from the comfort of their homes.

While we can’t speculate at this time about what this pandemic means for events beyond May 31, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and its impact on our community. We will update the community as new information comes to light and new decisions are made. We know that outlooks and forecasts are changing by the day as this unfolds. We are hopeful that communities will increasingly take this threat seriously and strictly adhere to the guidelines on social distancing, collectively turning the tide against the spread of this virus. If this mobilization takes place and this ends sooner rather than later, we look forward to our athletes soon being back in action showing the world what they are capable of.

Stay safe and remain “Brave in the Attempt.”

Kathleen J. Roach, MPH, MBA
President & CEO
Special Olympics Wisconsin

Coronavirus update: Special Olympics Wisconsin offices closed, employees work remotely

(March 17, 2020) – In an effort to do our part to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, all Special Olympics Wisconsin offices are currently closed and all members of staff are working remotely in accordance with the CDC-recommended strategy of social distancing.

Although this is a fluid and ever-evolving situation that Special Olympics Wisconsin leadership is monitoring very closely, we currently anticipate offices will reopen April 6. In the meantime, we look forward to assisting you via email or telephone. To contact specific members of our staff, please visit our Staff Directory. For general inquiries, please contact us at info@specialolympicswisconsin.org or (608) 222-1324.

For more information on coronavirus and Special Olympics, visit Special Olympics’ Coronavirus Outbreak: What You Need to Know resource page.

Important announcement regarding event cancellations

(March 11, 2020) – We regret to inform the Special Olympics Wisconsin community that all Special Olympics Wisconsin-affiliated sports training and competition activities through April 5 have been canceled as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus. While this was a very difficult decision to make, the health and safety of our athletes, volunteers, staff and partners is our top priority.

If you have any questions related to the event cancellations, please email info@specialolympicswisconsin.org.

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