Special Olympics Indiana Memo | May 6, 2020
COVID-19 Update: Suspension of Activities Extended through June 30
In a recent memo from Special Olympics International to all programs worldwide, CEO Mary Davis provided updated guidance related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, her memo strongly advised that all Special Olympics activities continue to be suspended through at least the end of June, even as government restrictions begin to ease.
After consulting with the leaders of other Special Olympics programs throughout the U.S. and with our own Board of Directors, I have decided that Special Olympics Indiana will comply with this advisement. And I regret to announce that all in-person practices, events, and social activities at all levels of the organization are to be cancelled through June 30.
The decision was not easy. As Governor Holcomb plans for the slow reopening of our state, I know that we are asking our athletes, coaches, families, and volunteers to be patient. But I believe Special Olympics International’s strategy is in the best interest of the people we serve.
You may be wondering: Why be cautious? Why not start practices again as the governor allows?
According to the CDC, people with intellectual disabilities (ID) or development disorders are at increased risk for contracting COVID-19. In addition, people with ID experience higher rates of chronic health conditions that also put them at higher risk of serious illness and poorer outcomes from COVID-19. Learn more here.
Special Olympics competitions and events are opportunities for entire communities to come together in support of our vision. But, unfortunately, that joining together poses significant risks for everyone involved.
So let us be cautious in our approach. Let’s see if there are new spikes in confirmed COVID-19 cases. Let us keep the safety of our people first and foremost.
So what should we do for the next 2 months?
We should continue to practice social distancing. We should wash our hands properly and frequently. We should wear a face mask when at work or in public. We should be careful not to spread our germs or to touch our faces with unwashed hands.
I know it’s difficult to be patient, but I encourage our athletes to reach out to friends, teammates, and coaches. Make sure they remain safe and healthy.
Stay positive. Stay active.
And prepare for the 2020 Virtual Summer Games!
Jeff MohlerPresident & CEO