Coronavirus Updates and Information

An important announcement regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 and how it affects Special Olympics Illinois competition/events (UPDATED 7/31)

Special Olympics Illinois continues to take the threat of COVID-19 very seriously. Our number one priority is keeping our athletes, volunteers, families and constituents safe.

As we indicated in late June of this year, we are constantly reviewing information from the CDC, the Illinois Department of Public Health, Governor Pritzker and Special Olympics Inc. to determine participation protocols for the athletes, volunteers, coaches, and families that participate in SOILL events. Based on all the information that was available to us earlier this year, we cancelled the State Tennis Championships and the Outdoor Sports Festival.  Based on all the information that is currently available to us, we are now cancelling Fall Games, State Unified Soccer, State Flag Football, State Bowling and State Floor Hockey Championship events for 2020. However, we are pleased to announce that we are planning a variety of regional events.  Some of the events will be in person and some will be virtual events. All the events will comply with the State’s Restore Illinois Phase 4 guidance. Here is a sample of events that we expect to do:

  • Golf competition and golf skills
  • Soccer skills
  • Virtual sports
  • Bocce
  • Softball skills
  • Tennis competition and tennis skills

Please note that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we may need to make additional modifications to our plans.  As always, we are evaluating and discussing the information on a daily basis and continually re-assessing what future events may or may not look like. We will keep you updated on any further developments and we look forward seeing you at one of our events soon.

Please reach out to your Special Olympics Illinois Region Director for any assistance or questions.

If you have program-related questions, please contact Marty Hickman. For questions related to fundraising, please contact Matt Johnson.

It will require ALL of us taking every precautionary measure to ensure that everyone stays as healthy as possible. Please join us in taking this seriously for the safety of all of our athletes and the safety of our community at large. It’s important that we all stay positive over the next few weeks. We’ll get through this by supporting each other, practicing safe social distancing, checking in on one another, and spreading facts, not fear. Know that we are all in this together.

Special Olympics Illinois, in cooperation with Special Olympics International and the WWE, is introducing a whole new way to exercise at home. The 4-week “School of Strength” session will begin this Sunday, March 22nd. Athletes, Unified Partners, coaches, family members and friends are encouraged to work out to these videos 5 days a week to help you stay fit and reach your goals.  Click here for full details and to access the program information—we look forward to you joining us on this journey!

Additionally, we’ve been sharing “Healthy and Fit Tips” on our website and on our social channels! These tips include resources for mental and physical health.

SOI has prepared a list of frequently asked questions on the topic of virus prevention and control that you can reference. The CDC also has a lot of great information that is updated regularly (including how to avoid contraction of the virus if you are in the group of higher-risk individuals).   If you become aware of anyone in the Special Olympics Illinois family who becomes infected with coronavirus, please immediately alert Dave Breen.

Here are some tips to help make sure we all stay healthy:

  • If you’re feeling even slightly under the weather or you’re running a fever, please stay home. Whether you’re an athlete, coach, family member or volunteer, please don’t put everyone else at risk because you don’t want to miss something. We know missing out isn’t any fun, but taking the chance that someone could get sick because of your actions isn’t fun either.
  • Wash your hands after using the restroom and before eating — do so for AT LEAST 20 seconds.
  • Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and open bathroom doors, not your freshly-washed hands
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Sneeze or cough into your arm, not your hands
  • Avoid shaking hands and high-fives
  • Avoid drinking from the same cup or bottle as someone else
  • Set up a home training regimen with your local athletes to make sure everyone still stays in shape
  • Keep an eye on our social media accounts over the next week as we work with our athlete-leaders to develop a training plan for our athletes to stay fit in this time without practices
  • For updates on the virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website daily

For all future updates on the virus and how it affects Special Olympics Illinois, please visit

Additional Resources:

Illinois Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization