Updated 8/18/21

Who do I contact with general questions?

Please contact SONJ by emailing sportsinfo@sonj.org.

How did the Return to Activity timeline get determined?

All decisions were made with the safety of all participants at the forefront. As such, all safety measures and protocols are being created following the recommendations and guidelines of Special Olympics Inc., the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the State of New Jersey. These safety measures and protocols will be required and monitored throughout the season by the state of New Jersey and Special Olympics New Jersey Community.

How will high risk participants be protected?

Participants, parents, guardians and caregivers should be provided with education on Special Olympics guidelines and relevant acknowledgements or expectations (conduct expectations, waivers, etc.)

While respecting privacy laws, how do I find out if someone has tested positive that I trained/practiced with?

In terms of notification of other participants if there is a Special Olympics participant who is found to be COVID-19, SONJ will work with the Program to notify participants that were at the event that an individual in attendance tested positive (without disclosing identifying information) as soon as possible.

Who must complete the COVID-19 Code of Conduct waiver and the Communicable Diseases waiver

All Special Olympics participants (Athletes, Unified partners, Coaches, Volunteers, and SO Staff) must complete the forms. Failure to complete the COVID-19 Code of Conduct waiver and Risk Assessment waiver or the Communicable Diseases waiver will result in no in-person participation allowed.

Do I have to complete the COVID-19 Code of Conduct waiver each Sports Season?

No. Once the waiver is initially completed, it does not have to be done each season.  Please only complete the waiver ONCE per person.

How long is the Communicable Diseases waiver valid for?

This needs to be renewed every 3 years.

What happens if someone refuses to sign the COVID-19 Participant Code of Conduct and Risk Assessment waiver or the Communicable Diseases waiver?

Failure to complete the COVID-19 Code of Conduct waiver and Risk Assessment waiver or the Communicable Diseases waiver will result in no in-person participation allowed.

Why is SONJ asking for vaccination status?

Special Olympics New Jersey is asking participants if they have received the COVID-19 vaccination as well as the date of their last shot. This information is for data collection purposes ONLY and will not prohibit participation.

Are we restricting participation, preventing athletes and volunteers from participating if they identify as “high risk”?

Any participant that identifies as high risk and would like to participate will be required to complete the High Risk waiver.

What is meant by handwashing facility or station? What type of hand sanitizer should be used?
  • For a handwashing facility or portable station, there should be access to clean water, soap and paper towels to dry hands.
  • Have signage reminding participants about hand hygiene and proper techniques for washing hands and using hand sanitizer.
  • Hand sanitizer should be with at least 60% alcohol.
Are masks required during indoor and outdoor competition?
  • Masks are strongly encouraged, but not required, for athletes and Unified partners during active participation as per updated safety and medical guidance.
  • Masks are required for all participants during non-active participation (e.g. on field sideline, staging area, awards, etc.).
  • Coaches, volunteers, and staff must wear a mask at all times for OUTDOOR and INDOOR activities.
  • All Young Athletes participants must wear a mask at all times.
  • SONJ additional OUTDOOR activities: masks are required except during vigorous activity.
  • SONJ additional INDOOR activities: must wear a mask at all times.
  • If spectators are permitted to attend events:
    • For OUTDOOR events, they will not be required to wear a mask if social distancing can be maintained. However, it is required that a mask be worn for individuals unvaccinated.
    • For INDOOR events, they will be required to wear a mask at all times.
May a participant use a face shield instead of a mask?

It is not known if face shields provide any benefit as source control to protect others from the spray of respiratory particles. At this time, clinical guidance suggests that a face shield should be used in addition to a facemask in certain clinical settings, not as a replacement for a mask. A face shield alone does not provide proper protection from the spread of COVID-19 via droplets in the air. At this time, it is not permitted for a face shield to be used instead of a facemask at Special Olympics activities.

What 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
If someone says they have a medical reason for not being able to wear a facemask, how should a Program handle this?

At this time, if an individual is unable to wear a mask for any reason, they will not be able to participate in Special Olympics New Jersey in-person activities. Virtual at home actives will be permitted.

Is a current and up to date SONJ 3-year medical required for participation?

Yes.

What should I do if my SONJ 3-year medical is invalid and I plan to return to practice?

Athletes must get an updated medical form prior to their first practice. If athletes are having trouble obtaining a valid medical or getting a doctor’s appointment, please reach to Amelia Hamilton (ARH@SONJ.ORG)

Will there be any virtual opportunities for athletes?

Yes!  We are continuing to provide opportunities through the Total Body Challenge. 

Contact Amelia Hamilton, ARH@sonj.org with any questions.

If necessary, where can I get tested for COVID-19?

A full list of testing sites in New Jersey can be found here.

Can any of the in-person practices/activities be moved from outdoor to indoor facilities?

Only if participants can adhere to all rules and regulations laid out in the Return to Activities Guidelines and the guidelines of the venue.

Can programs schedule social activities?

Currently, only approved Special Olympics New Jersey activities can be conducted.

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