Health and Safety Guidelines

Expand each for full details

Size and Frequency of Events: SONJ Stage 1A
  • Beginning February 1, groups of ten (10) or fewer at a time, INSIDE, including coaches, athletes, Unified partners and volunteers may be grouped together in a single area and the groups should be pre-determined by the coach prior to the start of practice.
  • Groups of ten (10) or fewer at a time, OUTSIDE, including coaches, athletes, Unified partners and volunteers may be grouped together in a single area and the groups should be pre-determined by the coach prior to the start of practice.
  • Recommend practicing in-person no more than once a week per sport.
Groupings/Social Distancing Clarifications
  • Once athlete groupings are determined, athletes may not switch to another group. Groupings should stay together throughout the entirety of the season when possible.
  • Coaches may move from one grouping to another but must always wear face coverings and stay at least six (6) feet apart from athletes when possible.
  • Coaches can supervise multiple groups, as long as face coverings and proper distancing is maintained at all times.
  • Social distancing of at least six (6) feet shall always be maintained between athletes and coaches, including within the ten (10) OUTDOOR groupings.
  • More than one group of ten (10) OUTDOOR can be in a single area, provided there is twenty (20) feet between each group of athletes.
  • The number of OUTDOOR groups will be limited by current state, facility and SONJ guidelines at any given time.

 

Pre-Event Guidelines

Please become familiar with these guidelines and resources below.

  • Work with SONJ Staff to find a facility that will:
  • Accommodate your group while ensuring physical distancing guidelines are met.
  • Ensure there is a designated space to isolate ill participants including tape, cones or chairs indicating where to sit. This space should be at least twenty (20) feet from the main practice area where the rest of the participants will be gathered.
  • Prior to your first group activity establish a plan for safe practice, which includes access to personal protective equipment (PPE) (see "During Event Guidelines") and physically distanced activities.
  • Maintain a master list with contact information for all athletes, coaches, and volunteers.
  • Email or communicate these guidelines (High Risk Waiver & COVID-19 Code of Conduct Waiver) to participants and families in advance and strongly encourage athletes to bring personal equipment if possible (i.e. soccer ball, water bottle, etc.)
  • Email template for activities (important items to include in email communication to participants attending an event. This includes information on arrival time, parking, bathrooms, etc.)
  • Complete the online High Risk Waiver & COVID-19 Code of Conduct Waiver. By completing these forms, all participants are acknowledging that they have received education materials regarding the virus and confirm understanding of the risks and participation procedures. All participants must complete the High Risk Waiver (if applicable) & COVID-19 Code of Conduct Waiver before participating. Failure to complete the COVID-19 Code of Conduct Waiver will result in no in-person participation allowed.
  • SONJ can also mail copies to you if you do not have access to a printer.
  • Display Distancing Signage (on the ground works), set-up isolation area twenty (20) feet from the group in the event of illness and sanitize equipment.
  • Strongly recommend identifying 1 or 2 other registered individuals within your program that can support and help with the sign-in and screening process at each practice/event.
During Event Guidelines

Participant Sign-In and Screening

  • Refer to Screening and Tracking Template for Special Olympics New Jersey Activities.
  • Take temperature using touchless thermometer.
  • A fever is considered a temperature of 100.4°F/37.8°C or higher.
  • If temperature is high, you may offer one re-test after five (5) minutes to ensure temperature is accurate. Note: sitting in a hot car, direct sunlight, and physical exertion just prior to taking temperature can create an inaccurate reading.
  • Those that have been or may have been exposed and or exhibit signs or symptoms of COVID-19 they must go home and remain quarantined for fourteen (14) days or until a negative COVID-19 test is produced in order to return to activities.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Coaches, staff, volunteers, family members, and caregivers should wear a mask at all times.
  • Athletes should arrive and depart wearing a mask and are encouraged to wear it when not actively participating in a sport activity.
  • All participants are encouraged to provide their own masks.
  • If 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained at any point during active participation, a mask should be worn by all participants. (i.e. a golf partner helping an athlete line up a shot)
  • Coaches should have the following PPE supplies at practice as part of their Coach Toolkit, which can be provided by SONJ upon request:
  • Touchless Thermometers (provided to LTP)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Sanitizing Wipes or Spray
  • Gloves
  • Masks
  • A full list of available Coach Toolkit items.

Social Distancing

  • Avoid activities that are not conducive to physical distancing (minimum of six (6) feet)
  • Items to indicate physical spacing are encouraged (pool noodle, cones, string, etc.)
  • Avoid utilizing shared equipment and regularly clean equipment if anything is shared
  • Spectators are discouraged but, if present, should be at least six (6) feet from other spectators, twenty-five (25) feet from participants and must not exceed the maximum of ten (10) individuals in a group.

If Someone Becomes Ill during an SONJ Activity (Competition or Practice)

  • Must notify Jeff Baldino, jjb@sonj.org or 609.896.8000 x252
  • Direct individual to isolation area, which should be at least twenty-five (25) feet from the rest of the group and keep him/her there until they are able to safely leave.
  • If they exhibit signs or symptoms of Covid-19 they must go home and remain quarantined for fourteen (14) days or until a negative COVID-19 test is produced in order to return to activities.
  • The activity must be suspended for at least 2 weeks (or until a negative test has been produced), and all participants will be notified while maintaining privacy, that an individual at an SONJ activity has tested positive for COVID-19.

Food & Beverages

  • All participants must bring their own beverages and water bottles must not be shared.
  • Hydration stations (water fountains, etc.) should not be utilized.
  • Do not share snacks and avoid snack breaks or meals during practice and events. All social distancing recommendations should be followed during any breaks.
Post-Event Guidelines
  • Clean and sanitize any and all equipment after each practice or event (i.e. soccer balls, cones, distance markers, equipment bags, etc.)
  • Equipment sanitation best practices are outlined in the Additional Coach Resources.
  • Athletes/family members should be instructed to clean and sanitize all personal equipment before and after practice as well

Coaches Submit to SONJ

  • All on-field participants including coaches and athletes must complete the COVID-19 Code of Conduct Waiver and High Risk Waiver (if applicable) before attending any SONJ practice or activity.
  • Failure to complete the COVID-19 Code of Conduct Waiver will result in no in-person participation allowed
  • Within 24-48 hours after each practice or event:
  • At the conclusion of the season:
  • Thermometers are required to be returned to SONJ at the end of the season. Any lost or unreturned thermometers will carry a fee of $60.
Protocols for reporting if someone becomes Ill with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or has been notified that they have been or may have been exposed to COVID-19
  • Must notify Jeff Baldino, jjb@sonj.org or 609.896.8000 x252
  • Stay Home and do not attend SONJ activities for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. Consult with a doctor to discuss the need for testing and/or treatment.
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
  • The activity must be suspended for at least 2 weeks, and all participants will be notified while maintaining privacy, that an individual at an SONJ activity has tested positive for COVID-19.

All participants are required to fill out the following form:

High Risk Waiver & COVID-19 Code of Conduct Waiver

Return to Activity Considerations

  • Discuss the risk of participating with your family.
  • Seek your doctor’s advice on your level of risk.
  • Contact your coach to find out if they are still participating in SONJ activities.
  • Make sure you understand all your options and sports, both on the field and virtual that are being offered.
  • Make sure all your questions are answered for you to make an informed decision in returning to fall activities.
  • Do you have a way to get to practice? (carpooling and other options that were used in the past that may not be available now)
  • Is your medical up to date?

Know Before You Go

  • Ask yourself, how do you feel? Do you have a cold, cough or feeling extra tired?
  • Have you traveled outside of New Jersey recently? Make sure you let your coach know!
  • Practice social distancing – measure six (6) feet apart at home so you know how far away it is.
  • Complete the COVID-19 Code of Conduct Waiver and High Risk waiver (if applicable) – First practice only.
  • Take your Temperature – If over 100.4 degrees do NOT attend practice/training.
  • Review the screening questionnaire:
    • Do you have a fever of 100.4 degrees or above?
    • Do you have any symptoms of COVID-19?
    • Have you been in close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 or been notified that you may have been exposed to it?
    • Have you traveled to states with a significant spread of COVID-19 in the past fourteen (14) days?
  • Travel to and from Practice – If you must take public transportation or carpool with people outside your household, wear a mask the entire journey to/from home.
  • Whenever possible, have your ride stay through the screening and temperature check process.
  • Pack Your Bag:
    • Personal sports equipment
    • Mask(s)
    • Hand Sanitizer
    • Water Bottle – Write your name on it!

What to Expect at Practice/Training

  • Parent/caregiver to escort athlete to designated check in area while practicing social distancing.
  • Complete questionnaire and temperature screening.
    • If pass, move to facility/field to pre-assigned group.
    • If temperature is high or questionnaire is not acceptable, move to isolation area for departure. Note: sitting in a hot car, direct sunlight, and physical exertion just prior to taking temperature can create an inaccurate reading.
  • Individuals that stay for the duration of practice must stay at least 25 feet from the facility/field.
  • No hugging, high fives or fist bumps at this time. Wave to your teammates!
  • Follow all instructions from coach as well as posted signs.
  • Leave as soon as the activity is complete.
  • Be patient. Things will take a little longer than normal at practice.
  • Participant’s transportation should arrive no later than 15 minutes to practice end time.
  • Use the bathroom before you go to practice. Bathroom facilities may not be available at practices.

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