COVID-19 Response

Contents

Introduction

In an effort to assist clubs and others who face important decisions regarding conducting activities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, your Eastern MA section staff are monitoring websites, newsletters, emails and are in contact with organization leaders regarding their plans. We present the following information to assist radio clubs and their members.

Special thanks to Affiliated Club Coordinator Bruce Blain, K1BG, and Assistant Section Manager Phil Temples, K9HI.

UPDATES (scroll down for full list and details)

3/27/2020

3/26/2020

3/25/2020

3/24/2020

3/23/2020

3/22/2020

3/21/2020

3/20/2020

3/19/2020

3/18/2020

3/17/2020

3/16/2020

3/15/2020

3/14/2020

3/11/2020

Algonquin ARC

“I canceled our meeting (which would have been tonight) on Tuesday 3/10, and our status is already posted on ema.arrl.org. We haven’t made any decisions about our April meeting.  There’s hopefully enough time to come up with some sort of video/streaming option if needed.” -Mike, W1KU

ARRL Headquarters

03/23/2020: ARRL Headquarters will comply with an executive order from Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont that all non-essential businesses and not-for-profit entities reduce in-person workforces by 100% no later than March 23, 2020, at 8 PM. ARRL will equip as many Headquarters staffers as possible to work remotely. [Full story]

03/20/2020: Update to all ARRL members from Interim CEO Barry J. Shelly, N1VXY re COVID-19

“As part of efforts under way to help protect the health and safety of ARRL Headquarters employees and volunteers from the impacts of the coronavirus, ARRL has decided to suspend all tours and guest visits to Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station W1AW and ARRL Headquarters, effective Monday, March 16. Out of an abundance of caution, this suspension will be in effect until further notice.” –ARRL Web, March 13, 2020

BAA Marathon, BAA 5K (Public Service Event)

“The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has been meeting regularly with city and state officials to discuss all updates related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency on March 10, 2020. In consideration of this and guided by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh along with state and municipal government leaders at all levels to undertake all possible measures to safeguard the health of the public, the B.A.A. understands the city’s decision that the Boston Marathon cannot be held on April 20, 2020. We offer our full support to take all reasonable efforts to postpone the 124th Boston Marathon to Monday, September 14, 2020… The B.A.A. 5K, which draws a field of 10,000 participants, will also be rescheduled to a later date.” –BAA website

Billerica Amateur Radio Society

03/18/2020: “I received word tonight that BARS is postponing VE sessions indefinitely due to the church that we use being closed to the public. We’ll post updates when we can resume sessions.” -Kayla, W2IRY

“Concerns over the COVID-19 emergency and the health of our members forces me to do as many other clubs have done. Our meeting scheduled for April 1 is cancelled. I am hoping that we can resume meeting for May 6 and that Ken Caruso, WO1N, can postpone his April FD talk until then. I would encourage our members to follow health guidance about whether to continue gathering for our weekly Saturday breakfast, and also advise our VE team to monitor the virus situation as April approaches.”  -Andy, KA1GTT

Barnstable Amateur Radio Club

“… the Barnstable club has suspended all in-person meetings until May at the earliest.” Rob, K1UI

Bristol County Repeater Association

03/27/20: “Margret would like to try doing our April 6 business meeting via Zoom.” -Jim, KB1NYT

“Due to restrictions imposed by Stop & Shop (where our exams are held), and concerns over the Corona Virus, we have been forced to cancel this month’s VE test session that was scheduled for Monday night (March 16). If you know of someone who was planning on an exam, please let them know. Email KB1CNB@arrl.net with any questions. We apologize for any inconvenience.” -Skip, KB1CNB

Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association

03/22/2020: “We are waiting to get guidance from the State and City before cancelling the April Board and Members meetings – I’m not optimistic abut the current restrictions supposed to end on April 6 due to the escalating situation nationally, but we shall see before we make that decision.” -Carl, W4RIG

03/22/2020: “We will be canceling our April 12th session and focus on a May Session @ CAARA.” -Bill, WZ1L

In light of Governor Baker’s Declared State of Emergency to Support the Commonwealth’s Response to the Coronavirus,  I am going to cancel the Tuesday Night Open House at CAARA until further notice.  You can use the facility at your own discretion but please follow safety guidelines and keep gatherings to a minimum, 6 or less. Elderly and those with reduced immune systems should refrain from visiting at all times, until the all clear is given.  Please keep in touch and connected via our repeaters.  -Gardner H. Winchester II, KA1BTK

Dan’s Tech Night

03/11/2020: “Sorry, our building hosts have suggested that we cancel our meeting for this month [on March 12] due to this unusual situation with this spreading virus. As I originally suggested, you should stay home out of fear of COVID-19.” -Dan, KW2T

Dayton Hamvention

The Hamvention Executive Committee has been monitoring the COVID19 pandemic. We have worked very closely with our local and state health Departments. It is with a very heavy heart the Hamvention Executive Committee has decided to cancel Hamvention for this year. This decision is extremely difficult for us but with around two months until the Great Gathering we felt this action necessary. More specific details regarding the closure will soon be posted here. Thank you for your understanding in this time of International Crisis. -Jack Gerbs, General Chairman HV2020

Eastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Group

“[The EMARG] March [19th] VE session has been cancelled.” -Lou, N1UEC

Eastern VHF UHF Microwave Conference (North East Weak Signal Group)

The co-chairs of the 2020 Eastern VHF-UHF-Microwave Conference sponsored by the North East Weak Signal (NEWS) Group have announced the cancellation of the event, “because of health and safety concerns for our attendees that has been caused by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent state and federal [states of] emergency.” The conference had been scheduled for April 17 – 19 in Manchester, Connecticut. -ARRL Web Site

Falmouth Amateur Radio Association

March 24, 2020: “…upcoming, “over the air” meeting on the FARA 2M net [on Wednesday, March 25 at 7:30 PM].” -Larry, W1IZZ

“No changes at this time.  I am sure this issue will be discussed at our next Board meeting.” -Larry, W1IZZ

Framingham Amateur Radio Association

March 25, 2020: “I will call a net at 7:30 pm tonight on the W1FY repeater.  147.150, no PL required. Please consider joining us and letting us know how you are doing…” -John, KB1XVY

March 15, 2020: “Given the recommendations about gatherings, I am cancelling  our April monthly meeting scheduled for 4/2/20 at the Framingham PD.   We can reschedule the talk on Korean War Radio by Sumner to another date.   Since we can’t  see far into the future, and this situation is evolving by the hour, we will reconsider the May and June meetings as they approach. I recommend that we stay in touch by the repeater more frequently.  I would like to re-institute the Wed 7:30 pm ragchew net so we can keep up with whatever is happening.   Let’s heat up the repeaters!” -John, KB1VXY

03/13/2020: “Our next meeting is on Thursday April 2 at 7:30 pm.  We have not yet decided to cancel but will certainly consider that.  Based on current trends it seems very likely we will cancel.  Our venue, the Framingham Police Department, may cancel for us.”  –John, KB1VXY

Genesis Amateur Radio Society

March 14, 2020: “We have chosen to cancel the meeting and reassess for April.” -Mike, KG1U

“Thanks for reaching out. I have not had any concerns from club members to this point. I will send out an email but I assume they are not as concerned. I will let you know if that changes after I send an email.” -Mike, KG1U

Ham Radio Outlet

“…In order to protect the staff and customers of Ham Radio Outlet and to continue to operate in a safe manner HRO will be closed to walk in traffic at all locations effective 3/25/2020. Stores will continue to take phone calls, online orders, and ship product so long as we are legally allowed to operate. We encourage curb-side pickup where you may call in an order and then call into the store when you arrive at the facility. One of our staff will bring out the product to your vehicle.”  —https://www.hamradio.com/coronavirus.cfm

Henniker, NH Flea Market

“Governor Sununu has ordered all schools in New Hampshire closed until a reassessment some time around April 3rd.
This, of course, means that our Flea Market is cancelled for the 22nd and rescheduling is uncertain at this time.
We certainly look forward to seeing you at some time in the future, but at this time, we wish to have you all be safe and healthy.”
-Steve Jones,  CVRC Secretary,     N1JHJ

Hudson High School ARC

“Our HHS ham club is totally contained within the school, so we actually just meet in my physics lab (the station location) during a specially scheduled class break on Wednesdays during the week… Whether schools will be closing in our district is still undetermined.”  -Reed, W1TF

K1USN Radio Club

03/21/2020: “I want to send a big thanks to the Board of Directors from the MMRA who have gladly agreed to give the K1USN gang permission to gather on-the-air using their 146.67 (146.2 Tone) repeater in Quincy… Several of the K1USN gang have tried getting on and had good luck since this repeater has a very good coverage area. We encourage K1USN members to give it a try and we will begin our first “Official” gathering next Saturday, March 28 at 9 AM local time. We will see how this works out and our hope is to keep this as informal as possible in the same spirit as our Saturday morning gatherings at K1USN in person. Remember that we are guests and to wait for any current activity to finish before getting on.”

“Effective immediately, starting on Friday, March 13, the K1USN Radio Club will be closed and remain so for at least the next two weeks. This unfortunately will affect our regular monthly VE exam session scheduled for this Saturday, March 14. We hope to be able to announce the resumption of VE exams very soon.”  -K1USN website

MIT Radio Society

“As you may have heard in the news, MIT just decided to tell all its undergrads to go home. That includes much of the club leadership so it certainly won’t be business as usual. We haven’t exactly decided what officer’s meetings will look like, but it will presumably involve videoconferencing of some sort simply because some of our membership will have gone home. I assume this will soon be the case for many of the other college clubs.” Daniel, KC1EPN

MIT Swapfest

From http://w1mx.mit.edu/flea-at-mit/

Posted: March 13, 2020
Under new rules from MIT’s Association of Student Activities, no student-organized events may be held for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. Therefore, the May 17, 2020 Swapfest is also cancelled.

Posted: March 9, 2020
Due to the ongoing worldwide COVID-19 outbreak, new MIT policies prohibit the hosting of large public events until May 15. Therefore, we regret to inform the Swapfest community that the April 19, 2020 event is cancelled. Vendors who have purchased space for April’s flea (including season pass holders) are eligible for a refund or credit towards a future event. Vendors may contact w1mx-officers@mit.edu with any questions.

Minuteman Repeater Association

“We cancelled the next meeting on March 18th. Our first venue cancelled, we got a second venue and was all set but it was SKYWARN training and NWS cancelled.  Also, Saturday’s VE session (March 14) was cancelled by the library. We had arranged an online meeting as a backup, but NWS won’t allow spotter IDs to be issued. We are adding an online option for future meetings, but have not tested that yet.” –David, N1DCH

Mystic Valley Amateur Radio Group

“We will not be having our March 15 meeting.” -Nick, KC1MA

Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club

03/17/20: “Due to the Corona Virus situation, the March Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club meeting has been cancelled. It was scheduled for this coming Thursday, March 19. In its place, Jim, N8VIM, has kindly arranged time for a WebEx webinar to be held on Thursday night in its place. With short notice, a “short subjects” format will be employed whereby anyone in attendance can speak on any subject. Any attendee can be made the “presenter,”  so if you have PowerPoint, video, or camera it can be shared with everyone else in attendance. The link will be open starting at 7 PM, and go until 10 PM. The first half hour or so will be for socializing and working the bugs out. Try connecting to the session at least a few minutes before 7:30 to make sure there are no issues. And I’m sure presentations won’t last until 10 PM, but who knows? Here are the details: Thursday 7-10PM Join WebEx meeting <https://medtronic.webex.com/medtronic/j.php?MTID=m29e8e2377b2051ce864dc972d337fc89> Meeting number: 921 515 321.  In case the long link above does not work, try going here. Grab a refreshment of your choice, and link in! I hope to see you there. Thanks and 73. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, especially if you have trouble linking into the WebEX session. –Bruce, K1BG 978-772-2773 or bruce.blain@charter.net

03/13/20: “I am canceling the NVARC March Monthly Meeting that was to take place next Thursday due to the current Coronavirus situation.  Stay Well.” -Stan, KD1LE

National Weather Service, SKYWARN Training

“Greetings everyone, in an abundance of caution the National Weather Service has suspended all SKYWARN classes for this spring… SKYWARN Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY, is working on developing a virtual training session on line. More to follow as this plan unfolds. The SKYWARN class that was scheduled for our club on April 25 is cancelled. -Ed, KA1RSY

NEAR-Fest XXVII

03/26/2020: “We have been cancelled by Executive Order: https://wgme.com/news/coronavirus/new-hampshire-issues-statewide-stay-at-home-order. –Mike Crestohl, W1RC

03/25/2020: “We have not canceled NEAR-Fest XXVII as of 25 March despite the fact that a large number of all kinds of events… have already made this decision on their own or have had it made for them by government executive order. On March 16th NH Governor Chris Sununu issued an executive order setting a limit of 50 people on any group gathering that will end on April 6th.   However, given the current situation this executive order most likely will be extended which will effectively cancels NEAR-Fest XXVII and we, of course, will comply. Postponement is not an option for us.  The Deerfield Fairgrounds are fully booked until the end of the year which includes NEAR-Fest XXVIII on October 16th…”  –Mike Crestohl, W1RC. Full statement: http://forum.near-fest.com/index.php?topic=1469.0

03/18/2020:  “Looks like we are going to be shut down by government, at least until Monday April 6th. However we will wait until after the 6th but I am betting that the ban will be extended beyond that date.  Stay tuned for further details.” -Mike, W1RC https://www.governor.nh.gov/news-media/orders-2020/documents/emergency-order-2.pdf

03/17/2020: “Is NEAR-Fest XXVII being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic? The short answer at this point in time is NO.  We are proceeding with our plans of opening the gates at the Deerfield Fairgrounds as usual at 0900 on Friday May 1st 2020 as advertised. … Be assured that we will err on the side of caution as we do not want anyone contracting this illness at our event especially since most of us are in the age range who will be at the greatest risk.  Unless the State of NH or the Federal Government issues any instructions banning large gatherings we will make our final decision on Friday April 24th, 2020.  This is based on the time needed to cancel some of the services we use such as table and chair rentals, chemical toilets, garbage removal, etc, which add to the cost of running the hamfest.  We will, however, be obligated to fulfill the terms of our contract with the Fair Association. Fortunately we have sufficient funds in our reserves to cover this expense.  However it will still cost us about $6,000.00 to cancel. That and the cost of printing the tickets will be our only real expenses.  But NEAR-Fest will survive.” -Mike, W1RC

New England Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society

03/17/2020: “VIRTUAL Meeting: Tuesday, March 17, 7:00 pm at YOUR HOME from New England Sci-Tech, 16 Tech Circle, Natick. Use Zoom or get on the air! NOTICE: The NEST facility has closed, so no one is permitted to enter the premises without permission. We are in the process of setting up virtual meetings and classes by ZOOM.”
 

03/13/2020:  “We are suspending, for two weeks, all scheduled workshops, classes, and events at our facility and all outreach programs where we travel to outside locations.  We are hoping to reopen some smaller classes beginning on March 27, but will reevaluate the situation as we approach that date. In the meantime, we continue to deep clean our facility. If you have prepaid for any courses, I hope you will consider postponing and adding your name to a future class offering (just email me which one), or you may request a full refund. When activities resume, please be sure to read our Coronavirus Precautions policy before entering our facility. We now have a strict health and hand washing protocol to be followed.”  -Bob, K5TEC

North East Weak Signal Group

“The NEWS Group physical meeting today (March 21, 2020) was cancelled, but we had a virtual meeting at the same time using Zoom. Participation was smaller, but it worked well.  we will consider using this in future for distant participants and bad weather.” -Paul, W1GHZ

North Shore Radio Association

03/22/2020: “[We have] officially cancelled [our March 28 VE session]. ARRL has been notified. hope to have one in April.” -Rick, KB1LYJ

03/13/2020: “We had made the decision [to cancel] last night and then this morning we got notice from our meeting place PMLP cancelled all use of the auditorium until further notice.” -Rick, KB1LYJ

Northeast ARC

03/26/2020: See official NEAR-Fest XXVII cancellation notice. -Editor.

“We have one of our bi-yearly meetings up at Nearfest in May on that Saturday, so I am not planning on canceling as of yet…We are just waiting to see how this plays out over time.” –Russ, K1RTA

Northeastern University Wireless Club

“The club has suspended meetings and activities.” -Dave, K1MBO

Norwood Amateur Radio Club

“The next meeting is Thursday March 26th, 2020 at 7:30 PM at Over The Air via RF, EchoLink and IRLP – 147.20, 147.20 PL 100, , . Over The Air Meeting due to Covid Restrictions”  —http://norwood-arc.org

PART of Westford

03/23/2020: “During this time of “social distancing,” there’s a new PART net on 10 meters. We meet occasionally at 7:30 PM local time on 28.400 MHz. There’s usually someone listening, so if you don’t hear anyone, just announce that you’re on frequency or call CQ. Thanks to Bob, W1IS, for setting this up.” -George, K1IG

03/15/2020: “PART has canceled its next meeting… Our meeting site is drastically reducing its availability, so even with modified seating or enhanced cleaning we still would have had to cancel.” -George, K1IG

Pentucket Radio Association

“I feel we should cancel the coming PRA meeting that was to be held on the 19th of this month. Instead we should hold the next meeting on April 16th. This way we can discuss setting up for NEAR-Fest.” -Dave, KD1NA

Pilgrim Amateur Radio Club

“The next club meeting on Monday, April 13, 2020 IS CANCELLED. The club officers will keep its members and visitors informed on a monthly basis. Thank you and keep safe. 73” –PARC website

Pilgrim Amateur Wireless Association

“We were forced to cancel our March 20 meeting. The hospital where we meet has cancelled use of the conference room for all outside groups due to Coronavirus fears. No word yet on April. Feel free to publish this info.” –John, N1OTY

Quannapowitt Radio Association

“We got the word from the city of Reading that the Senior Center will be closed for a couple of weeks and won’t be available for our meeting next Thursday [March 19].  I’ll be notifying the members tonight with the newsletter. Wise move I think.  Most of our members are elderly.” -Bob, AA1M

Rhode Island HF, Dxer & Contester Ham Radio Social

03/16/20: “This event is cancelled. I’ll announce another event once things settle down.” -Charlie, N1RR

“With the success of Y.C.C.C. Social nights and as the R.I. Area Manager & Vice President of of YCCC, I invite you to join us at RIPTIDE SPORTS GRILL in Tiverton, R.I. [on March 19 at 6 PM] for a fun time with like-minded hams.” –Charlie, N1RR

Rocky Neck 5K (Cape Ann ARA, Gloucester)

“I’m sure your organization is on heightened alert given the current swiftly changing events.  I’m writing today to take something off your plate.  Given the current circumstances, we have cancelled the Rocky Neck 5K that was scheduled to take place on May 3, 2020.  We hope to perhaps reschedule for the fall but will need to go through the City’s calendar committee and receive approval. If that happens, I’ll be in touch. In the meantime, stay well and thanks for all your organization does for the citizens of our City.” -Patricia A. Conant, Membership Committee, Rocky Neck Art Colony, Inc.

South Eastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association

03/17/20:  “Hope you are all well. I am cancelling the business meeting for April 2nd 2020 due to the mandate by Gov. Baker to limit the gatherings of more than ten people. The VE Session scheduled for April 4, 2020 is canceled. The May meeting will be addressed when the time comes. The work party for Saturday will be postponed for a latter date as this serious virus subsides. The Sunday morning coffee meetings are still on as long as we keep it to ten (10) members or less and do not have any cold or sickness symptoms. Thank you for your patience and cooperation. Hope you all stay well and be careful in your daily activities. Wash your hands many times a day.” -Marcel  W1MLD

03/14/20: “At this time our meeting for April 2, 2020 will go on as scheduled. I will decide one week before the meeting if we will cancel or postpone for another date.”  -Marcel,  W1MLD

Special Forces Brothers ARC

“Our members are all over the world so our meetings are either on the air or on Facebook.”  -Jon, KM6OP

Sturdy Memorial Hospital ARC

“Be advised that due to state imposed meeting size restrictions, the March meeting of SMHARC has been cancelled. Stay well. See you next month (maybe). -Ray, K2TGX

Tough Ruck 2020 Road Race

March 13, 2020: Tough Ruckers: As the President declares a National State of Emergency, our first thoughts are for the safety and health of you and your families. Shortly following this morning’s announcement of the Boston Marathon postponement, Massachusetts Governor Baker also announced an emergency order banning gatherings over 250 people. With the developing COVID-19 situation, Tough Ruck 2020 has been postponed.  –toughruff.org

20th USA Amateur Radio Direction Finding Championships, Boston MA

“The ARRL ARDF Committee is monitoring the COVID-19 situation. No decision has been made regarding any impact to the 20th USA ARDF Championships scheduled for June 9-14 in Boston, MA. Any decision to change plans for those Championships will be made in the next few weeks. Please pay close attention to messages on this Google Group for future announcements.”

Waltham Amateur Radio Association

03/24/2020: “With the current COVID-19 status, we are of course not scheduling any in-person meetings for WARA. I’ve set up a video conference for us to use tomorrow. Please, anyone interested in joining the call do so. You can also just dial in via phone. Wednesday, March 25th Agenda: 6-7 PM Social hour via video! Come join, bring a beverage, smoke ’em if ya got ’em. Chill with your WARA buddies on video. 7:00 PM Club business. Conference call link –> https://chime.aws/1747897140.  <– ” -Ron, KG1T

03/24/2020: “In-person meetings / dinners cancelled until further notice due to Corona virus: Check https://walthamara.org/meetings/ for updated information. We will look to have online / virtual meetings and will post info once available.” -Waltham ARA website

Wellesley Amateur Radio Society

“Fellow Hams, Members and Guests: Due to the COVID-19  Coronavirus, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has ordered starting 3/17/2020 all bars and restaurants closed to public dining until April 6, 2020. The Tuesday (March 17th) Dinner Meeting is cancelled. Remember: Wednesdays at 8 PM, we have our scheduled Wellesley Amateur Radio Society Net on 147.030 with the PL tone 123HZ. Let us know some of the stories that you have encountered during these unusual times. Stay well. We will get through this!” -Don, KB1OTQ

Whitman Amateur Radio Club

03/26/2020: “Our next Meeting will be a [meeting on the air] on April 1st, 7 pm on 147.225 +PL67. There will not be a meeting at the K/C Hall in Whitman. Due to the coronavirus crisis any remaining classes and the VE sessions have been cancelled for now until a later date; this includes the Technician class. -WARC website

03/23/2020: “Unfortunately, we had to [cancel our Technician course beginning March 24], no place would let us meet.” -Ross, W1EKG

Yankee Clipper Contest Club

“In the last two weeks, daily life for me has significantly changed–as I suspect it has for many of you.  At this point in time, our primary goal as a society is to “flatten the curve” of coronavirus cases.  Consistent with that goal, and the fact that many of the YCCC members are in the “high risk group,” the YCCC Meeting scheduled for April 11 has been cancelled. We are looking at the possibility of hosting a meeting remotely, but if and when that happens we will advise the membership.  Unless you hear otherwise, the next YCCC Meeting will be held at the HamExposition convention in Marlborough July 25, 2020.” -Dennis, W1UE

YuKanRun Fool’s Dual 5K & Half Marathon (Cape Ann ARA, Gloucester)

“The YuKan Fools Dual road race scheduled for Apr 5, 2020 has been canceled. Given the uncertainty with timing and so many unknown variables, it will not be rescheduled. I’ll be sure to stay in touch as we approach other race dates this year…” -Rich Morrell