We can’t miss what’s going on in the news and in our neighborhoods. As you know, District 32 covers Alaska and parts of Western Washington. So far, we (the District Trio) have received updates from just a few of our clubs that the Corona Virus (COVID-19) is impacting our clubs. When I say impacting, this means that some workplaces are changing meeting locations, etc. it does NOT mean anyone has contracted the virus. 

Direction from TI is to handle this at club level and following local authorities’ instructions. (The following is as of March 6, 2020.)

For Washington:  

Club Meetings: Please follow local health authorities’ guidelines. As you may be aware, Governor Jay Inslee and other local government officials made emergency declarations. It is up to each club to continue or suspend meetings, using local recommendations as your guide. 

Contests: Thank you district leaders for the work you have been doing on preparing for your Area and Division contests. Much like the guidance above for club meetings, we recommend following local health authorities’ guidelines

We are asking Area 21 and 22 to reschedule their Area contest because it is scheduled for March 14 and it seems that local guidelines are recommending keeping gatherings to small numbers. We are not rescheduling other contests yet as we believe it’s too soon to tell if that will be necessary. 

For Alaska: Please continue to remain vigilant in implementing locally recommended practices like avoiding shaking hands when “passing” the lectern off to another member (I’ve heard “jazz hands,” fist bumps and elbow bumps are being implemented) and be conscientious with your own health and well-being. 

For Division Directors: Please contact your Area Directors (in case they miss this e-mail) and communicate our recommendations. 

For Area Directors: Please contact your clubs to pass this information on as some of our members do not receive these e-mails. 

For all: It is up to the clubs to decide if they will meet and what protocol to follow within the club. Again, we recommend following local guidelines. Remember, stay calm (and wash your hands ;)).

We will continue to send updates as more information is available.

We have received word that an official announcement from Deepak Menon, Toastmasters International President, will be coming soon.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this situation. Our first priority is keeping our members safe and healthy.

Cheers,
Ginny Grabowski
District 32 Director
Toastmasters International