Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
Last update: March 25, 2020, 11:30am.
We are aware of the impact the coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on members and clubs in our District. We are in regular communication with Toastmasters International. We are closely monitoring the situation and taking the necessary steps to support our members.
Please revisit this page often. We will update it as new information becomes available.
Guidance from Toastmasters International
Due to safety and government restrictions, Toastmasters International understands that clubs in Districts 101 may not be able to meet in person. Therefore, they have made the following exceptions:
- Clubs are strongly recommended to have meetings online
- All Area and Division Speech contests must be conducted online
You can also check the latest update from Toastmasters International with regards to COVID-19.
Tips and Resources
Stay at home from any in-person interactions if you:
- Feel sick or have symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, etc.)
- Recently had contact with an individual known or suspected to have COVID-19
- Or if you are at a higher risk (elderly or immunocompromised)
- Traveled to China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Italy, Iran or other high-risk areas in the past 14 days. Check the CDC website for more details.
- Completely avoid shaking hands and other physical contact (use elbow bumps, or wave hands, etc.)
- Create physical space to minimize close contact (one arm length, sit every other seat)
- Always make use of hand washing capabilities or hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes, and tissues
- Avoid touching your face or high touch surfaces with your bare hands (use a tissue)
For your Online Meetings, use available video conferencing applications such as:
- Free Conference Call
- Google Hangouts
- Google Meet
- Microsoft Teams
- GoTo Meeting
Many of these services are free or currently offering limited time access for non-profits during the crisis. For more tips on how to conduct your virtual meetings online check out the Online Meetings for Clubs page. Included are instructions on getting speaker feedback and Table Topics voting.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Will area speech contests be canceled?
No, but all contests must be conducted online. Your Area Director will reach out to you with more information.
- Will the deadline to earn educational awards in the legacy program be extended?
No, At this time, the deadline to submit educational awards in the legacy program remains June 30, 2020. If in-person club meetings are not possible, clubs can still meet online to provide members opportunities to present speeches and complete their educational achievements.
- What will be the format of the Online Meeting?
Online meetings shall have the same format with the regular meeting agenda. The only difference is the medium. Some best practices to follow would be:
- Unmute only when speaking to reduce noise, etc.
- Turn off all the webcams except the speaker and the timer’s webcam, so that the timing signals can be seen by the speaker.
- Table topic master can call out the member to respond, at which point the member can unmute and speak.
We understand that it’s a far diminished experience in comparison to the in-person club meetings. As soon as in-person meetings are possible, the clubs are expected to switch back to regular meetings at their venue.