Coronavirus & Upcoming Events
We will keep this page updated with information as it becomes available.
Stay up to date on Special Olympics New Hampshire current Covid-19 Local Program Protocol.Last Updated 2/22/2022
The following memo was distributed via email to Local Program Leadership, Local Program Volunteers and Local Program Covid Point of Contact on February 24th:
Hello Local Program Leadership, SONH Athletes and Families and Local Program Volunteers,
We write with very exciting news!
The daily COVID-19 case count has continued to fall since our update last week! We have, for the first time since November 2021 logged seven consecutive days below 50 new cases per day, per 100,000 people.
Additionally, as the COVID-19 Pandemic has progressed and guidelines have changed, upon consultation with local health care professionals, we are issuing an updated COVID-19 protocol to reflect the current status of the pandemic.
Current Case Count: 28
We are happy to announce in person Local Program activities can resume in Phase Four (25-49 new cases per day, per 100,000 people). This phase allows for gatherings of up to 25 participants (total) indoors and up to 50 participants (total) outdoors effective immediately.
We will continue to monitor the case count daily and navigate phases according to our protocol. Any changes in protocol phases will be reported via email updates, the SONH Website, our social media channels and via the SONH COVID Hotline at 602-406-4158.
If daily case count, forces a move into a more enhanced COVID-19 protocol phase it will be communicated and take place immediately. Once in current protocol phase, in order to move down into a reduced COVID-19 protocol phase, a seven day trend at or within lower rate must occur prior to moving into lower phase.
- COVID-19, COVID-19 supplies: Contact Mark Ericson at MarkE@sonh.org or (603) 498-5186.
- Programs: Contact Shelby Cote at ShelbyC@sonh.org or (603) 933-1093.
- Competitions: Contact Andrew MacLeay at AndrewM@sonh.org or (978) 806-0092.
Stay safe, stay healthy!
Cannot wait to get back to it,
The following memo was distributed via email to Local Program Leadership, Local Program Volunteers and Local Program Covid Point of Contact on September 10th:
We have implemented a phased covid protocol as covid numbers have been increasing.
Please take a minute to look at the attached protocol. With a rate of 27 new cases per 100,000 we are in the dark orange phase.
The dark orange phase means a capacity of no more than 25 folks indoors or 50 folks outdoors. This includes Local Program activities as well as competition.
As a result of us being in the dark orange phase, we are working with the organizing committees for track, softball, bocce and golf to figure out alternative competitive opportunities…maybe virtual or where volunteers attend your practices to take scores. We want to be able to provide some sort of competition.
Jess or Mary will be sending out meeting invites by sport to discuss in more detail.
Please know that the safety of our athletes and volunteers remain our top priority.
Moving forward with the protocol we will communicate when our phases go up or down. We will institute higher phases immediately upon a case count uptick and to ensure safety of our family. We will wait for a full 7-day trend of lower-case count numbers before dropping to a lower phase to ensure it is safe to ease restrictions. If the decision is made to cancel/alter an event we will not change that status even if the case count drops.
This communication will be shared with all Local Program Volunteers on Tuesday, September 14th. You will receive another communication on Friday, September 17th or sooner if conditions warrant.
- Anything to do with covid, please contact me, Mark Ericson (603) 498-5186 or MarkE@sonh.org. Including if anyone associated with your program tests positive to covid.
- Questions about Games registrations, please contact Jess Marchant, JessicaM@sonh.org.
- If you have thoughts or questions about any competitions, please reach out to Mary Conroy, 770-4055 or MaryC@sonh.org.
The following memo was distributed via email to Local Program Volunteers and Local Program Covid Point of Contact on August 12th:
Local Program Coordinators & Local Program Covid 19 Point of Contacts:
We apologize it has taken us so long to provide an updated Local Program Covid-19 Protocol. We appreciate your patience as we navigate the changing landscape to put together a Protocol that will best serve our Local Programs.
Attached please find our Local Program Covid-19 Protocol (as of 8/12/21).
The Local Program Covid-19 Protocol will be sent to all Local Program Volunteers on Monday, August 16th.
A Local Program Covid-19 weekly email on Fridays to LPC’s and LP Covid POC. The weekly email will be shared with all Local Program Volunteers the Tuesday of the following week.
A reminder to all LPC’s returning to activity, per the protocol a Covid Point of Contact(s) must be identified for each Local Program. If you have not submitted your POC, please email me their name, email and cell phone number.
If anyone associated with your program tests positive for Covid, or is diagnosed with Covid, please let me know immediately. Additionally, if there is a status changes regarding your program’s activities, please let me know.
Lastly, we are committing to an update at least once a week. As we are monitor NH Covid information daily, we reserve the right to update our protocols at any time, as often as needed.
Please reach out with any questions or concerns, (603) 498-5186 or MarkE@sonh.org.
Thank you for all you do and for allowing for our family to return to activity as safely as possible,
Return to Activity Informational Meetings with Local Programs took place July 12th – 16th. Local Programs were able to being practices as of July 17,2021.
The following memo was distributed via email to our family on June 25th:
So happy to share that we will be able to begin practicing and competing in the near future.
On Tuesday, June 15th our board approved our plan to restart.
We have a lot of work to do to get ready, but athletes should start practicing and training on their own to be as prepared as possible.
Over the course of the next few weeks we’ll be meeting with Local Programs, lining up venues for training and competition, and dusting off our equipment that’s been in storage. Watch your email and our social media channels for updates on our progress in the days to come.
Local Program meetings will take place July 12th through the 16th. Following those meetings, team practices may begin on July 17th.
If you’re not already pumped up about returning to activity, then check out this video celebrating the excitement of SONH competition:
It will be so great to reconnect!
The following memo was distributed via email to our family on March 2nd:
First and foremost, I want to take a moment to thank you for your continued support of and belief in Special Olympics New Hampshire as we continue to navigate through these unprecedented times. Safety remains our top priority, and with that in mind, we have decided that no in-person competitions or Local Program events will take place through June 15, 2021.
We look forward to the day when we can once again offer in-person competitions and events. The Return to Activities Task Force is busy making sure that as soon as we can, we are ready to get right back into training and competition. We conducted a survey of our athletes, families and Local Program volunteers and found that Summer Games, Basketball and Bowling would be the most attended events. If we are able to offer competition this year, we will do our best to focus on those. At this point, we have no official events scheduled but we are hopeful that we’ll be able to offer a few competitions this year, most likely between September and December, if it is safe to do so.
We are excited to announce that New Hampshire will send it’s largest ever delegation to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games which will take place from June 5-12 in Orlando, Florida. Team New Hampshire will be made up of 113 people! 80 athletes and partners will be selected to compete in athletics, bocce, bowling, equestrian, golf, powerlifting, swimming, sprint triathlon, basketball and softball. We will also send two students to the Youth Summit that will take place at the Games.
Athlete selection for the 2022 USA Games will take place later this year. We hope to conduct try-outs for softball and basketball and for remaining sports we will use scores from the in-person competitions offered later this year to conduct a random draw of all gold medal winners.
Please remember that while everything at this point is tentative, we want to make sure that we are all prepared to jump back into things as soon as we are able. Athletes, what can you do now to be ready?
- Keep up with your training! Even though we aren’t sure when our next competition will be, we know that we will have competition again so make sure you are competition ready.
- Take the Hope Challenge! The Hope Challenge is a fun way to stay healthy and fit from home. We will offer this challenge twice this year. The Hope Challenge One is going on now. Click here for more information and to sign up!
I know this last year has been difficult, but please don’t lose hope. Special Olympics is here for you. I am here for you. I can’t wait to see you all in-person again. Until then, please keep up with your training and stay safe.
The following memo was distributed via email to our family on August 14, 2020:
I want to update you on the work being done by our return to activities task force that includes athletes, Local Program leaders, board members, coaches and SONH staff. This task force is working to create safe opportunities for athletes to get back into Special Olympics activities.
Unfortunately, we have concluded that there can be no bowling competition this year.
As a first step to activities, the task force hopes to launch The Granite State Restart in September where athletes will have a choice of three different levels of activity both physical and social. Athletes will work to complete each activity and score points. Awards will be provided based on the number of points earned.
We are looking forward to getting back to larger group activities as soon as it is safe to do so. Until that time Local Programs may not conduct any activities (such as practices, fundraisers, socials and end of season parties).
We will update you again in mid-October
The following memo was distributed via email to our family on June 30, 2020:
I hope you and your family are healthy and safe. I wanted to let you know that we have created a task force that includes athletes, Local Program leaders, board members and SONH staff. This task force is developing and reviewing our Return To Activity Plan.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to have competition in golf or softball this summer.
We are looking forward to getting back to activities as soon as it is safe to do so. Until we have a plan Local Programs may not conduct any activities (such as practices, fundraisers, socials and end of season parties).
Additionally, we want to let everyone know that after 25 years, SONH will be moving to a new home in 2021. Until we are in our new home, staff will be working remotely and available via email and cell phone (click here for list). You can still reach us via phone at (603) 624-1250 and we will continue to use the 650 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03101 address for USPS mail delivery until further notice.
The following memo was distributed via email to our family on June 3rd:
To our athletes, volunteers, family and friends;
I hope you are healthy and safe. As you know, the safety and well-being of our athletes, coaches, volunteers and staff remains our highest priority. We continue to monitor guidance and best-practices from the CDC, Governor Sununu’s office as well as other agencies and experts.
Following much discussion and review, we will be extending the cancellation of all SONH events and activities until July 6, 2020. This cancellation extension applies to all Local Program activities (such as practices, fundraisers, socials and end of season parties). We will keep this page of our website updated regularly with information as it becomes available.
While this difficult decision means we are unable to be together in person, we’ve come up with a way to for us to be together while we’re apart. See the information here about SONH Radio Online.
Stay safe, strong and healthy.
The following memo was distributed via email to our family on March 19, 2020:
To our athletes, volunteers, families and friends,
We have additional updates in regards to the Coronavirus and its impact to Special Olympics New Hampshire. We are cancelling all events and activities through Friday, June 19th, at which time the situation will be reevaluated. This includes our 2020 State Summer Games, the Law Enforcement Torch Run, five Area Summer Games, as well as all Local Program activities (such as practices, fundraisers, socials and end of season parties). We will keep this page of our website updated regularly with information as it becomes available.
This decision was carefully made after Special Olympics International consulted with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and after reviewing the latest guidance from the World Health Organization. The CDC, the World Health Organization and other health authorities are urging physical distancing and other precautionary measures. As such, Special Olympics is committed to remaining vigilant and taking all necessary proactive steps to protect athletes, staff, coaches, volunteers, and communities.
We understand that not providing this important programming will increase the anxiety and sense of isolation that many of our athletes are feeling. We are working on a program that allows athletes to be engaged from home and will launch that in the coming days.
Our staff is still working and we are practicing physical distancing by working from home. If you have any questions or need to reach out to us you can contact any staff member.
We appreciate your continued cooperation and understanding as we navigate our way through this unprecedented circumstance.
The following memo was distributed via email to our family on March 11, 2020:
To our athletes, volunteers, families and friends of Special Olympics New Hampshire,
Following our initial memo sent on March 8th, we have additional updates in regards to the Coronavirus and its impact to Special Olympics New Hampshire. Effective immediately Special Olympics New Hampshire is suspending all sport training and competition activities and other gatherings involving our athletes (such as practices, Athlete Leadership, fundraisers, socials, or end of season parties) through Sunday, April 5th, at which time the situation will be reevaluated.
We will keep this page of our website updated regularly with information as it becomes available.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this constantly changing environment and strive to make the best possible decisions with the safety and well-being of our athletes and all constituents at the forefront.
PS: Later this week we will start regular communications with fun ways to stay involved from home.
The following memo was distributed via email to our family on March 8, 2020:
To our athletes, volunteers, families and friends of Special Olympics New Hampshire,
We want to update you in regards to the news about the Coronavirus and the impact to Special Olympics New Hampshire.
Your health and safety are top priority, as well as the health and safety of the Special Olympics New Hampshire community. Please refer to this page of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention website for tips to stay safe. If you do not feel well, please stay home; do not attend a Special Olympics New Hampshire event. Wash your hands often, use hand sanitizer, avoid high-fives, avoid handshakes, and avoid contact with your face.
In light of precautions being taken both locally and worldwide, we have decided to exercise an abundance of caution for events where close personal contact is expected. At this time, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the following events:
- Basketball Assessments on March 14th and 15th
- State Basketball Tournament on March 28th
- Greater Manchester Area Swim Meet on April 4th
While canceling events is disappointing for athletes who have trained for months to compete – as well as the volunteers, family, friends and our staff and board who look forward to cheering for them – we know that our love of sport doesn’t compare to the importance of protecting the health of our athletes, which will remain our priority.
We will continue to monitor the situation and update you regarding our future events over the coming months.