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Living the Spiritual Disciplines and Virtues in 12-Step Recovery

AA Meetings & Coronavirus (03/15/20)

A.A.’s General Service Office (GSO) in its 03/09/20 Coronavirus update suggests that each individual group needs to make its own decision as to how to respond in the overall interest of the group. This accords with Tradition Four.

Below is a guide used (03/15/20) by a local group to make a Group Conscience decision regarding meetings, in keeping with Tradition Two. It is shared here to contribute to the pool of ideas flowing from group experience. It has been redacted in the interest of anonymity.

                                       X Group of Alcoholics Anonymous

        Group Conscience Considerations Re: Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic

Given this week’s WHO declaration of a Coronavirus pandemic and the federal government’s declaration of a national emergency, our group may want to consider what measures would be prudent to take. Below are some possible options. Others may be suggested during the discussion.

A. To continue meeting on a week-by-week basis but enact the following guidelines:

     1. That persons who believe they may have symptoms of the virus do not attend 
         meetings and if present voluntarily agree to leave. Main symptoms are:

              i. Fever
              ii. Cough
              iii. Shortness of breath

     2. That persons who are otherwise sick do not attend meetings and if present
         voluntarily agree to leave

     3. That at the end of the meeting we do not form a circle or hold hands but instead
         remain by our seats as we say the closing prayer

     4. That as part of set up before meeting we sanitize the surface of all tables

     5. That where possible distance between chairs be increased in keeping with “social
         distancing” recommendations (6 feet)

     6. That we suspend making coffee or bringing in food

     7. That we collect on a voluntary basis the names and phone numbers of group
         members in the event it’s necessary to contact them

     8. That these policies be read before the start of each meeting

B. To suspend meeting:

     1. That meetings be suspended for 4 weeks at the end of which we would consult each
         other over the phone and decide whether to reconvene and resume them, or

     2. That meetings be suspended until further notice and that we continue to monitor the
         situation and consult each other over the phone to decide whether to reconvene and
         resume them

Some general points to keep in mind as A and B above are considered: 

     1. The relative age composition and health condition of its members. This would be in
         keeping with the determination that people over 60 and those with underlying
         conditions are the most vulnerable

     2. The type of meeting. Some groups might consider that a beginner’s meeting should
         be kept going as long as possible, depending on local conditions

     3. The availability of meetings in the area, considered in conjunction with points 1 and 2

     4. The location of the meeting. Meetings in highly populated areas or in those more
         greatly affected by virus might require more precautionary measures than others

Following a general discussion, it should first be decided whether to suspend meetings and if so for how long, or whether to continue them and, if so, which of the suggested measures should be adopted.

                                                 Applicable Traditions

Tradition Two:
“For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern

Tradition Four:
“Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.”

Applicable Principle

The Virtue of Wisdom


Audios & Videos:

A Few Words from the Italians (03/15/20)