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Updated Statement on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

posted 14 Mar 2020, 07:25 by Admin Chair
March 14, 2020

Re: Updated Statement on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
To: Athletes, Volunteers, and all members of the SOO Greater Ottawa Community
From: SOO Greater Ottawa Community Council

Dear Athletes, Volunteers, and SOO Greater Ottawa Community Members

By now many of you have seen the March 13th statement from Glenn MacDonell, President & CEO of Special Olympics Ontario regarding the decision to suspend programming until March 31, 2020.

We understand that for many of our athletes, volunteers, and their families, this situation will create an understandable amount of uncertainty and you will have questions about how SOO Greater Ottawa is managing this news and programming in our community. In light of this, the SOO Greater Ottawa Council is taking the following steps:

1. Effective immediately, we are announcing the end of the Winter/Spring Program season. Though some sports may have had additional practices scheduled into April, these will not take place.This cancellation includes any planned social events as well, such as end of season parties/gatherings. 

2. All Special Olympics travel, tournaments and events through March 31st are suspended regardless of size. Reimbursements will be arranged for athletes who have paid registration fees for impacted events. We will release a communication for reimbursements at a later date, please do not contact the Treasurer at this time. For tournaments scheduled to take place after March 31st, council and Head Coaches will remain in contact with tournament organizers and notify affected athletes of any changes. 

3. We will not be issuing refunds for the regular sport season as more than 75% of the season has now passed for all programs.

4. We will be conducting summer registration by mail-in or drop off only. We will add a section to the form to enter credit card information, and council will manually process those payments if/when the time comes to start summer sports. Those wanting to pay with cash or unable to mail-in, will have options available for dropping off their forms at a specific location/locations. Cheques and credit card payments will not be processed/cash will not be deposited until we confirm the start date of summer programming. A separate communication regarding the summer registration process will follow in the coming days. Please hold any questions about registration until that time.

5. We will maintain our existing facility bookings for our summer sport programs in the event that SOO determines a return to regular sport programming is safe and subject to the availability of relevant facilities (such as schools).

6. While we are optimistic, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the Athlete's Banquet to a date to be determined until we can be sure the health and well-being of our athletes can be sufficiently guaranteed.

We understand that the suspension of our programs is upsetting for many, as we all appreciate the value and joy of participating in community sport. We will continue to share regular updates with the community as the situation evolves. In the interim, please continue to follow the guidance of the relevant public health authorities. You can continue to find key information on both the Special Olympics Ontario and SOO Greater Ottawa websites.

Best Regards,

Kyle, Lindsay, & the Special Olympics Ontario Greater Ottawa Community Council