June 11, 2020
In-Person Meetings: How and When

I saw a commercial years ago – a woman bundled up in a warm coat, scarf and mittens, standing in the dark outside a store, looking at the door and saying “Open, Open, Open.” Waiting for in-person AA meetings to resume feels similar. 

Through some very productive Zoom sessions, representatives from the Districts put together a “checklist” of things for groups to consider and discuss as they plan to re-open. The checklist deals with How groups will re-open, but the larger question remains: When can we re-open?

Today the Governor announced that on Monday, June 15, 2020 the Stay-At-Home order will be lifted. The lifting of the order removes the 10-person limit on gatherings. 

In his announcement, the Governor stressed the importance of:
✓ social distancing 
✓ wearing masks while in public
✓ following the Universal Guidelines

Grace F
Area 43 Chair

May 7, 2020
Stay-At-Home 2.0: What does it mean for AA in NH?

On May 1, 2020, the Governor of NH issued Emergency Order 40 and Stay-At-Home 2.0, a set of Universal Guidelines. On May 4, and again on May 5, I spoke with staff members in the NH Governor’s office. The second conversation was with the Governor’s Advisor on Addiction and Behavioral Health. Both individuals stated that nothing in the new Order changes the status of AA Groups.

The Universal Guidelines are attached to this email and Emergency Order 40 is available at: https://www.governor.nh.gov/news-media/emergency-orders/

The current order is in effect until May 31, 2020. It can be rescinded, modified or extended by the Governor. If the Area learns of any changes we will disseminate the information as quickly, and as widely, as possible.

It is important that we make sure all our meeting listings are correct. The most up-to-date listing of Zoom meetings is attached to this email.

As noted in prior communications, we urge all AA members to adhere to the emergency guidelines for the safety and wellbeing of yourselves, your loved ones, and all residents of our state.

Grace F
Area Chair

Pete V Delegate,
Panel 70, Area 43 

March 26, 2020
Area 43 Update on COVID-19

Today Governor Sununu announced the State of New Hampshire will be issuing a stay-at-home order and directing all non-essential businesses that have not already voluntarily closed to end in-person public interactions by midnight, Friday, March 27, 2020.

Governor Sununu stated that “today’s steps elevate our message to Granite Staters that they should stay at home, unless absolutely necessary, by codifying it in this emergency order…these are tough decisions, they really are, but at the end of the day we know that the worst may still be ahead of us…”

The stay at home order will be effective until May 4, 2020.

I know that some AA groups have continued to hold in-person meetings. After midnight tomorrow, Friday, March 27, I hope and pray that you will take the stay-at-home order to heart. This emergency order by the Governor is made in the best interest of all residents of New Hampshire.

Tradition Four states: Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole. This Tradition reminds us that the freedom individual groups have also carries with it the responsibility to protect the fellowship as a whole.

Individual actions can put others at risk of infection. If we do not protect our beloved fellowship it could potentially impact the sick and suffering alcoholic who has not yet entered the rooms.

May God keep us all safe.

Grace F
Area 43 Chair

Sue W
Alternate Area 43 Chair

Pete V
Area 43 Delegate

Dan P
Alternate Area 43 Delegate

March 23, 2020

In a press conference earlier today Governor Sununu announced, in accordance with CDC guidelines, New Hampshire will be issuing guidance prohibiting scheduled gatherings and events with more than 10 people.

I urge all AA members in New Hampshire to abide by these State guidelines and to do our part to keep our neighbors safe, as well as keeping ourselves safe.

An abundance of resources exist that can take the place of in-person meetings. The Meeting Guide app and online meeting list on nhaa.net indicate which meetings have transitioned to a virtual format. Some list call in numbers and an increasing number provide a link to attend via Zoom. As many of us shelter at home, we can phone, FaceTime, or gather on Zoom for support and fellowship. The Zoom meetings I have attended so far have, without exception, been wonderful experiences.

In addition, there are many virtual AA meetings around the US and Canada. A list can be found at http://aa-intergroup.org/directory.php

Grace F
Area 43 Chair

March 16, 2020
Area 43 Update on COVID-19

Today the President of the United States issued the following statement:

My administration is recommending that all Americans, including the young and healthy, work to engage in schooling from home when possible, avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people, avoid discretionary travel and avoid eating and drinking in bars, restaurants, and public food courts,” Trump said. “If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus, and we are going to have a big celebration altogether. With several weeks of focused action, we can turn the corner and turn it quickly — a lot of progress has been made.

Donald J. Trump, March 16, 2020

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

Today’s recommendation from the President, based on the best advice of the task force advising him on COVID-19, is unambiguous. All Americans are asked to refrain from meeting in groups larger than 10 people. We, as your trusted servants, understand and respect the autonomous nature of every AA group. We also believe it is our duty to disseminate this new federal guideline to as many AA members as possible.

Prudence would suggest that the number 10 is arbitrary. The “spirit” of this new guideline is a recommendation that Americans do everything in our power to maintain social distance and avoid coming together in groups.

Many alternatives exist to in-person meetings: phone calls, conference calls for multiple participants, online meetings, Zoom meetings, social media. A list of suspended meetings can be found on the Area website at: https://nhaa.net/temporarily-suspended-meetings/

GSO maintains a list of online meetings, which always welcome new participants: http://aa-intergroup.org/directory.php

Yours in Service

Grace F
Area 43 Chair

Pete V
Area 43 Delegate, Panel 70

March 13, 2020
Area 43 Update on COVID-19

Out of concern for the health of all AA members, the following events are cancelled:

Pre-Conference Assembly: March 28
Area 43 Convention: April 3-5

Our Delegate will be exploring options to gather input from AA groups in NH regarding the agenda items for the General Service Conference. Updated information about this, and about the Convention, will be posted on the Area website as it becomes available.

The following event has been postponed:

NHSCYPAA: March 13-15

These decisions were not made lightly but the health of our members is our priority. Given the fluid and rapidly changing situation with COVID-19, it is essential that we all take precautions. The CDC has issued a bulletin about travel within the US. Contained within that is a statement about public gatherings:

Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded settings, particularly closed-in settings with little air circulation, if there are people in the crowd who are sick. This may include settings such as conferences, public events (like concerts and sporting events), religious gatherings, public spaces (like movie theatres and shopping malls), and public transportation (like buses, metro, trains).

The full statement is available at:

As there is an incubation period before symptoms appear, there is a risk that the virus is being passed undetected. In settings where social distancing is minimized, that risk increases. The news is filled with cancellations: the NBA season is suspended, the Boston Marathon is postponed, Broadway shows in NY are closed. Yesterday (Thursday 3/12/2020) the NHSCYPAA host committee decided to postpone its convention. The same day the Northeast Regional AA Delegates cancelled their retreat, which was also scheduled for this weekend, March 13-15. There are discussions underway to convert the General Service Conference of AA to a “virtual” gathering. The General Service Office has cancelled all staff travel. Jails and other institutions are cancelling meeting commitments. Through our Northeast Regional Trustee, our Delegate has learned that, almost without exception, other Areas in the Northeast are cancelling events scheduled within the next several weeks.  

Here in NH, the best source of information about meetings, groups and events is the Area website.

Some AA groups are deciding to temporarily suspend their meetings, either out of an abundance of caution, or because their venue is no longer available for group or public use. Check the list of suspended meetings at:

If your group suspends its meeting, please let the Area know as soon as possible so we can post the information. The Area Registrar is able to temporarily remove meetings from the Meeting Guide app. Use this link to submit the details:

Groups are encouraged to stay in contact with members who stay away from meetings due to health concerns. Use of group phone lists, social media, or participating in online meetings may be helpful alternatives.

Other helpful information

The CDC suggests the following steps to prevent illness: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html. Additionally, the CDC provides guidelines to help you determine if you are in a high risk group for COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/index.html

Please also see the announcement from the General Service Office:

Yours in service,

Grace F                                  
Area 43 Chair

Pete V                                                
Area 43 Delegate, Panel 70   

Dan P
Area 43 Alternate Delegate