Updates to TOPS Meeting Ban and Headquarters Operations
(Updated May 14, 2020, at 11:10 a.m. Central time)
TOPS President Updates When and How Meetings Will Resume
Dear TOPS Friends,
For the safety and protection of our members, a meeting ban in compliance with national, state and provincial guidelines was put in place on March 16 all across TOPS Nation. TOPS chapter meetings (and weigh-ins), KOPS Society meetings and other TOPS-sanctioned events were included in the ban.
Both US and Canadian governments have issued guidelines regarding when we can start returning to normal. Governors in each state and Premieres of each province will set target dates on how to re-open for various levels. Your Coordinator will inform you of the date government officials in your area will permit chapter meetings and other TOPS events. Even if your state/province/county/municipality has re-opened, the actual building where you meet may not allow public gatherings or may limit the number of people who can meet. Therefore, there is no absolute date when all TOPS chapter meetings and events may resume.
TOPS Headquarters continues to operate with a reduced staff. As restrictions are gradually lessened, more staff will return to Headquarters. A small essential staff continues to process all renewals, fulfill award and TOPS tools orders received, write and publish the July/August issue of TOPS News and prepare for IRD 2020-21.
As always, your questions and concerns are important to us, and we will continue to provide answers as they become available. Your Coordinator is your best source for area-specific information. All decisions are being made in the best interest of our members and our great organization.
We will continue to update you as events unfold.
Please carefully review the information below for additional details regarding these updates and other relevant information.
Guidelines for Member Health and Safety
TOPS members are always encouraged to act in their own best interest!
The support and accountability of the scale are key components of the TOPS program, so members are encouraged – under normal circumstances – to attend weekly. Chapters – under normal circumstances – are encouraged not to cancel meetings unless absolutely necessary.
Clearly, these are not normal circumstances. TOPS has guidelines for member health and safety that apply in any emergency or natural disaster.
Here are some good reasons to stay safer at home any time:
• If you believe that your safety and well being (or that of others) would be jeopardized, stay home.
• If your licensed healthcare professional has advised you to stay home or to avoid traveling or gatherings, stay home.
• If you are sick, stay home.
• If there’s severe weather or hazardous travel, stay home.
• If your meeting place is closed, cancel your meeting.
• TOPS chapters and members always must comply with any legal order or curfew imposed by governing authorities!
What if our meeting place is closed after the ban on TOPS meetings ends?
Chapters whose meeting place remains closed shall cancel meetings there until the meeting place is available again. As always, chapter Weight Recorder(s) are to mark NM for “no meeting” on weight charts for those dates. Members can read more about canceling meetings after signing in to our website. Please contact your Coordinator if you have questions.
TOPS Headquarters is proud to provide you with service and support
- Memberships and renewals continue to be processed in a timely manner. See below for details.
- Online orders from the TOPS store on www.tops.org are being fulfilled and shipped once weekly.
- TOPS member support in the form of regular email newsletters and online services available to all members in the Members Area of www.tops.org will continue as usual. In addition:
- Webinars continue to be offered. Recordings are posted after the fact for all members to review at their convenience.
- TOPS News May/June issue has been mailed as usual and work on the July/August issue is well underway.
- Social Media updates to keep you informed and inspired will continue to be posted periodically, although it may take longer to respond to private messages.
- Virtual Chapter Meetings will continue as scheduled. Please note that due to system limitations, there is a temporary moratorium on members of in-person chapters switching to the Virtual Chapter.
- Recognition Days events continue to be rescheduled. Please see the list of rescheduled events using the button at the top of this page. Coordinators are reaching out to chapters in their areas as new event information becomes available.
As always, your local Field Staff are available to answer questions and provide basic chapter supplies and support during this time. For Field Staff contact information, click Find a Meeting and enter your ZIP or postal code.
How do I renew my membership so I don't miss my TOPS News?
(Updated May 12, 2020) Members whose renewals are due on or before June 15, 2020, may renew their memberships online during this time or mail in their renewal with a personal check. Once the meeting ban is lifted, the rule that memberships must be paid with a chapter check (or renewed by member online) will be reinstated.
May I switch to online meetings amid COVID-19 concerns?
No. Our Virtual Chapter meetings are not capable of accommodating that many additional users. Please note that there is now a moratorium on members of in-person chapters switching to online meetings.
For additional support, please follow our Facebook page and/or sign up for our email newsletters with wellness tips and pertinent resources. In the meantime, we recommend that you weigh yourself regularly at home to stay accountable and keep in touch with fellow members via mail, phone, email or social media.
What about KOPS members who were out of leeway at their last weigh-in?
Any KOPS member who was out of leeway at their last chapter weigh-in prior to the meeting ban (in effect Monday, March 16, through Sunday, May 3) must register a weight within leeway at the first available meeting after the ban is lifted to maintain status. Those who are not weighed at the first available meeting lose status as do those KOPS previously out of leeway who are absent for the meeting. This policy does not apply to all KOPS: only those out of leeway at their last official weigh-in.
Please note that all KOPS Rules (found in TOPS Rules 15-31) are still in effect.