THINGS FOR GROUPS TO CONSIDER WHEN DISCUSSING RETURNING TO FACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS
As your groups begin conversations and come to a group conscience about moving forward with having
face-to-face meetings here is a list of things to consider.
Group conscience decisions must take into account all voices especially the minority voice. Each opinion
is critical to "making decisions that keep risk factors as low as possible.” Plan outreach to absentee
group members. Groups determine by group conscience vote whether to return to face – to – face
meetings. (Traditions 2, 4; Concepts 4, 5, Warranty 3)
Meet with the host facility regarding their "reopening plan". Determine what physical space will be
available including restrooms, adhere to their protocols, and capacity. Does the facility allow for
sufficient social distancing? Restroom facilities - post on entrance(s) a request for "only one person at a
time "social distancing" even if multi-person capacity. If restrooms are gender designated consider
whether they can be considered gender neutral during the meeting time frame. (Tradition 1, 2, 4;
Concept 3, 4)
R.I. Phase III indoor limit of 15 can be accommodated using the 6 foot social distancing mandate. If
needed, will group members commit to set up tables / chairs accordingly? Will groups make an effort to
establish a second location for overflow if necessary?
Will the facility require the Al-Anon group to disinfect/clean the space after the meeting? Are members
willing to commit? Will the facility or the group be responsible for supplying cleaning supplies? Does the
group have adequate resources to provide extra masks, sanitation and cleaning supplies to be used prior
to the start of the meeting and when the meeting ends? (Tradition 1, 2, 4; Concept 3, 4)
When the decision has been made to go back to meeting in person, notify the Area office [(401) 781-
0044 or firstname.lastname@example.org] and the Area Website Coordinator (email@example.com) of
the change so the website can be updated and the office volunteers will be able to direct people
accordingly. (Tradition 9, 10)
Group openings/closing need to take into account face-to-face group modifications, protocols, and
requirements due to COVID-19. (Tradition 1, 2, 4; Concept 3, 4)
Determine meeting format and use of shared materials: if literature (CAL) will be used, consider having
some members/attendees commit to bringing their own books and volunteer to do the readings per
topic/ format chosen. (Tradition 1, 2, 4; Concept 3, 4)
Will the group display and sell literature and, if so, how will this be done?
Does the group need additional service positions to accommodate the additional needs of the group
(signage, sanitation, greeters to monitor adherence to face masks and room occupancy limit)? Need
ongoing trusted servant to maintain group member sign up list with accurate email and phone contact
information. (Tradition 1, 2, 4, 9; Concept 3, 4, 9)
Schedule and announce group conscience discussions regarding what's working and what's not working.
What concerns do the members have about anonymity, especially if the group decides to meet
outdoors? Do our decisions serve our primary purpose of helping families of alcoholics? (Tradition 5, 12)
Group conscience decision made to offer newcomer a seat if meeting at capacity. Will newcomer
packets be available or newcomer can sign up to have packet mailed? How to handle newcomer
meetings? (Tradition 1, 2, 4; Concept 3, 4)
Group conscience decision made regarding noncompliant members (refuse to wear mask or social
distance). Group Conscience may dictate a meeting will be ended anytime anyone is in non-compliance
for masking and/or social distancing. (Tradition 1, 2, 4, 9; Concept 3, 4, 9)
Create a process to facilitate contact tracing if a member becomes ill (i.e. sign-in sheet, phone list, etc.)
and ensure that everyone in attendance is on the list. Tracing members will interfere with personal
anonymity. Groups will have to take this into consideration. (Tradition 1, 12; Concept 1, 3)
Tradition Seven: Have a drop box/basket for individual contributions (avoid passing basket). Designate
a member to receive contributions for the group. Provide information for those who wish to mail
contributions/donations to RIAFG and/or WSO.
Group Donations: Giving to group’s treasurer decided by conscience decision
Donate to the Rhode Island Area AFG by sending a check to:
106 Rolfe St.
Cranston, RI 02910
Donate to the World Service Office online at https://al-anon.org/contributions/ or by sending a
1600 Corporate Landing Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
Outdoor meeting – Phase III limit of 15 people (Concept 1; Tradition 12)
- Anonymity is paramount.
- Consider members with outdoor allergies, hearing limitations (further exacerbated by social
distance), and lack of restroom facility.
- Restroom facilities - post on entrance(s) a request for "only one person at a time "social
distancing" even if multi-person capacity. If restrooms are gender designated consider whether
they can be considered gender neutral during the meeting time frame.
- Weather will always be a factor.
Hybrid meeting (Tradition 1, 4, 5, 9; Concept 2, 3 )
- Technological savvy person present to handle computer requests.
- Wi-Fi connections will vary.
- Call-ins accepted.
- Financial and equipment resources to handle hybrid meetings.
- Auditory considerations for those participating electronically.
- Provide list of alternative Zoom and or electronic meetings occurring simultaneously if location
Signage: Follow all Rhode Island Department of Health Guidelines (visible on used entrance(s). The CDC website has downloadable print information that could be used as signage. (Concept 1, 3)
By your decision to attend this indoor face-to-face meeting you accept all risk "known and unknown"
regarding COVID19. Here are other examples if groups decide to fund and create their own signage.
- DO NOT enter this facility/meeting if you have any of the following symptoms as outlined by
Center for Disease Control guidelines: fever, chills, cough, problem breathing, fatigue,
headaches, body or muscle aches, new loss of taste and/or smell, sore throat, congestion, runny
nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
- Masks are mandatory and must be used to cover both nose and mouth.
- You must adhere to 6 foot social distancing for all attendees regardless of your personal
relationship to another attendee.
- Exception to letter c. If family members and or people who live together sit together at
meetings, it may/will allow greater space to adhere to safe 6ft social distancing, while providing
more room for other members. We allow this at my parish and it is working.