Important Updates

 

Navigating the Pandemic

(Last updated August 30, 2021) As we’ve coped, stayed connected, and supported one another, the introduction of vaccines has helped usher in a resumption of many normal meeting activities throughout the U.S. and Canada. TOPS leadership continues to stress safety, personal responsibility and adherence to all legal orders in effect in your area. Please review the information below and share it with others.

Be well. Stay safe. Support one another.

Ongoing safety guidelines and updated resources

New guidelines and updated resources have been added for the topics below. Policies apply across TOPS Nation. However, since infection rates and government restrictions vary widely by area, decisions are being made at the state and provincial level. Your Coordinator is your best source for area-specific information. You can find his or her contact information by typing your ZIP or postal code in Find a Meeting.

Questions People Ask About Joining TOPS

(Updated July 1, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. Central time)

What is TOPS doing in response to the pandemic?

Some of our local chapters are not meeting in-person right now but may be conducting socially-distanced weigh-ins or holding meetings via Zoom, teleconference or other electronic means. Using the contact information on Find a Meeting, you can learn which chapters in your area may be meeting and how.

You may choose to join as an online member now and attend our Virtual Chapter until in-person chapters in your area begin meeting again. There’s no additional cost to switch from online membership to in-person membership.


When is Headquarters open?

TOPS Headquarters, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central time.  We are here to serve you and answer questions about membership. We continue to provide all our customary services for members and chapters, including but not limited to:

  • Processing memberships and renewals
  • Fulfilling mail-in and online orders
  • Offering technical support for www.tops.org
  • Publishing TOPS News membership magazine and accepting member submissions at share@tops.org
  • Accepting forms for new KOPS, KOPS lost status, and KOPS milestone anniversaries as well as Century Award validations

As always, local Field Staff are available to answer questions and provide basic chapter supplies and support for members. For Field Staff contact information, click Find a Meeting and enter your ZIP or postal code.

What if I have a questions outside of normal business hours?

If you are considering joining us as a member and need assistance, answers to many common questions can be found in our Help Center under the heading "Questions About Joining TOPS?"

Members also will find a variety of useful information in the Help Center.

 

Questions Members Ask

(Last updated April 28, 2021)

May I transfer to online meetings during the pandemic?

Yes! As of April 1, 2021, members have the option to join our Virtual Chapter meetings on Zoom up to three times weekly. Members can choose whether or not to share their video. Learn more about transferring from in-person to online meetings at no charge. 

  • Monday evenings: 8:00 p.m. Central
  • Tuesday midday: 1:00 p.m. Central (Repeat of content covered on Mondays)
  • Thursday evenings: 6:30 p.m. Central
  • All meetings are listed in Central time. Please use www.timeanddate.com to check the times in your area.
  • The Program portion of recent Virtual Chapter meetings can be found in our Video Library for all members. For privacy, Check In and Discussion are not recorded.


Are we allowed to meet as a chapter yet?

Yes, under certain circumstances


How do I renew my membership so I don't miss my TOPS News?

Members may renew their memberships online during this time or mail in the renewal with a personal check. If you do not have your renewal form, you may use a TOPS membership application, available in the Members Area under Forms Please remember to include sales taxes as outlined on the Membership Application or Renewal form. If you are unsure of the proper tax, you may want to consult your Treasurer or Leader.

Please note that mailing lists for TOPS News are sent to the U.S. Postal Service four weeks in advance of the mailing date as required by postal regulations. This means that if your membership is not active in mid-November, you will likely miss the January/February issue. In this case, back issues are available for purchase in the TOPS Store.


What is TOPS doing to support members during this time?

TOPS has provided a number of resources here on our COVID-19 updates page to help chapters and members stay connected and meet safely.

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. See more ideas for staying connected.


Will TOPS require COVID-19 vaccinations or waivers to attend chapter meetings or events?

No. There are many reasons why a member may not be able or inclined to get a vaccine.

  • TOPS will not mandate vaccinations or require a signed waiver to attend a meeting.
  • TOPS does not condone the practice of asking members if they have been vaccinated.
  • TOPS expects its members to comply with local guidelines and laws at their meetings and events.
  • TOPS expects members to respect rules and requests made by the venues where they meet.
  • Some venues may require attendees to be vaccinated or provide a negative COVID-19 test as a condition of entry. If your meeting place requests this of your chapter, please immediately reach out to your Coordinator for guidance.

Personal responsibility is the key to dealing with any sickness. Covering coughs and washing hands frequently have always been important. Staying home to avoid exposing others is recommended if you have a temperature or any respiratory or gastric distress. These basic practices should always apply whether we are experiencing a pandemic or not.

What About KOPS Members?

(Updated September 21, 2020)

KOPS are members maintaining their goal weight who continue to go to TOPS for support as they Keep Off Pounds Sensibly. Please note that all KOPS Rules (found in TOPS Rules 15-31) are still in effect.

What if a KOPS was out of leeway at the last weigh-in before an extended interruption in their chapter meeting?

Do you know KOPS members who were out of leeway at their last chapter weigh-in prior to an extended closure of their meeting place due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19?  To maintain status, these members must register a weight within leeway at the first available meeting/weigh-in of their chapter. Those who are not weighed at the first available opportunity 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.

What if a KOPS member cannot get the 15 weigh-ins required to maintain status this year?

If the Weight Recorder, Assistant Weight Recorder, Leader or Co-Leader is able and willing, an isolated weigh-in may be arranged before or after a meeting or at another mutually-agreeable time. Leader may appoint additional or interim Assistant Weight Recorders if needed.

If you are concerned about being able to get the minimum 15 weigh-ins required to maintain your KOPS status in 2020, please contact your Coordinator, who will advise you of your options under existing TOPS protocol.

 

What if a KOPS is due to receive a Longevity Award?

TOPS Club Inc. presents KOPS with a special pin as a gift for every five years they maintain status. KOPS whose 5-year anniversary date occurs during a chapter closure (or during a time when they are unable to attend for reasons of personal safety) must register an in-leeway weight at a chapter meeting or a privately arranged weigh-in as described above to receive their pin. If unable to attend meetings, KOPS will still be eligible to receive their award once their chapter resumes meeting so long as they register a weight in leeway.