COVID-19 Updates

(NEW MESSAGE – September 6, 2021)

Special Olympics Rhode Island Board of Directors and Staff hope that this message finds you healthy and well as we hold on to the hope of returning to the “normal” that we all miss, know and love.  We remain positive, can see the light with vaccinations taking place and know that this COVID-19 crisis will not last forever.  We also know that returning to full activities will take some time and will not happen overnight.  Until then, we will continue to put the safety and health of our athletes, coaches, volunteers and families first.  Aligned with the Special Olympics Health Initiatives, the overall wellbeing of our athletes continues to be a priority for us.

During these challenging times the health and safety of everyone involved with Special Olympics Rhode Island continues to be our top priority.  As the state Rhode Island is currently experiencing a “high transmission rate” for COVID-19, SORI is following the “Significant Risk Phase” guidance on Return to In-Person activities outlined by Special Olympics, Inc. for our Fall Sports Programs.

This “Significant Risk Phase” guidance is based on the latest information from the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health authorities.  It created in consultation with a team of global medical experts and with input from Special Olympics stakeholders.  This guidance is above the local and state levels because of the high risk of COVID-19 to our athletes.

During this “Return to Play – Significant Risk Phase”, Special Olympics Rhode Island will be functioning under the State of Rhode Island Reopening Regulations for event size and risk mitigation along with the additional Special Olympics, Inc guidelines for screening, mask wearing, social distancing and hygiene protocol.

All athletes will remain in this “Return to Play – Significant Risk Phase” for the sports/activities that they are participating in until the state’s transmission rate for COVID-19 drops to a lower level and it is appropriate to move down to a less restrictive stage.

Fall Sports/Activities that will be offered during “Return to Play – Significant Risk Phase” will be Traditional Soccer, Unified Flag Football, Unified Bocce, Unified Corn Hole, Unified Walking/Hiking, Unified Basketball and Traditional Duckpin Bowling.  Virtual programming will include a Fitness Workout with Stephanie and our Athlete Information Calls.

Participation is completely optional, and we respect, understand, and fully support anyone who is unable to or uncomfortable with returning to practice for the sports/activities being offered. Additional information with specific guidelines for each sport being offered is provided below.

Any questions regarding our Return to Play Guidelines, please contact Adam Johnson, Director of Sports & Training  at .

Our Special Olympics Rhode Island staff is committed to continuing to offer new opportunities as we move comfortably forward in Phase 2.  During our Spring Sports Season, the following in-person programs will be offered: Unified Waling/Hiking/Fitness Program; Agency Daytime Walking/Fitness Program; Daytime Golf Skills (statewide program); Track & Field/Fitness; Unified Bocce; Unified Corn Hole; Cycling Program (statewide program); Unified Pickle Ball (statewide program); Unified Soccer Skills Program and Young Athletes Program.

We want you to remind everyone that we’re here for you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need additional information. Even though the SORI office  is open by appointment only, we are all still hard at work in our home offices and reachable via email and phone. Please feel to contact me on my cell phone at (401) 323-9277 or via email at; Gerri Walter at (401) 527-1086 or via email at, or Chris Hopkins at (401) 829-7938 or via email at

Please stay healthy and safe as we continue to move through this difficult time.  Together, we can do this!

Dennis DeJesus,
CEO – Special Olympics Rhode Island

Special Olympics has prepared a list of frequently asked questions that you can reference on the topic of virus prevention and control.

Special Olympics resources to help during the COVID-19 crisis.

Coronavirus Fact Sheet

Refer to this page of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for steps to prevent illness.

Rhode Island Department of Health COVID-19 Info Line (401) 222-8022 from 8:30am – 4:30pm. After Business Hours Dial  211 or email

Rhode Island Department of Health website

Virtual Athlete Activities available on Special Olympics Inc., website:

School of Strength

Fit 5 Resources

Staying Fit at Home

Stay Fit at Home Bingo

Fun Activities