September 13, 2021
Special Olympics Ontario (SOO) had already taken the initial step in mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for all volunteers and coaches returning to in person coaching. This announcement will now require SOO athletes to provide proof of vaccination to attend in person sport training sessions and events. Although the provincial government mandate focuses on indoor facilities, it will be mandatory for all SOO athletes, coaches, and volunteers to provide proof of vaccination for all indoor and outdoor community based sport programs and events. School based programs and Partner Programs will continue to follow the COVID-19 protocols outlined by their respective school boards / PSO’s.
As of September 22, all participants (athletes, coaches and volunteers) involved in SOO community programming will be required to be fully vaccinated (2 doses plus 14 days after the second dose) and submit proof of vaccination through the RTP system. Those with medical exemptions and those who are under the age of 12 will be exempt; however, those that require a medical exemption will need to provide documentation from their health care provider.
As an organization, we will be expanding our Vaccine Declaration process to monitor vaccination status in coaches, volunteers and athletes. The provincial mandate takes effect September 22nd. We will be asking athletes to provide proof of vaccination immediately in preparation for the September 22nd effective date. As this is a provincially mandated requirement, facility management will have the final say as to who is eligible to enter their facility. SOO will continue to work with facility management in the many venues across the province to ensure an easy transition for the implementation of this mandate.
SOO remains focused on the health and safety of all our members and we will continue to provide support to our athletes regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. If you require further information about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit: https://vaccinesupport.ca.
We are pleased that our sport programs and events are moving forward in the Return to Program plan. We will continue to focus our time and energy in getting our athletes back to the bowling lanes; back in the pool and back in the gyms. Please visit the Return to Program website to seek further information on how to make that happen.
Anyone requiring further support to get fully immunized and/or how to secure your vaccine passport may reach out directly.