COVID-19 Update

March 22, 2020

The April VE session has been canceled until further notice.

March 22, 2020

The spring General and Technician classes have been canceled. The plan is to resume offering classes this fall.

Aaron, NØADR
class@k0kkv.org

March 13, 2020

To the members of the Lincoln Amateur Radio Club and all interested amateur radio operators,

Good morning. As most of you have heard by now, Hamfest has been rescheduled for October 31, 2020. This was not an easy decision to make, and one that we were forced to make as conditions were rapidly changing.

I would like to provide a timeline of what led to this decision being made:
On Saturday, March 7, we learned that Li-Cor would be restricting access to their facilities to only their necessary personnel, forcing us to relocate our planned March 11 club meeting. At that time, we were able to secure Northern Lighthouse Church for the meeting. Based on publically available information and guidance from the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health District (LLCHD) at that time, we determined that both our club meeting and convention could go on as scheduled.

On Monday, March 9, we began to receive emails from people who had decided to not attend the convention based on the media information about the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. We again consulted with the LLCHD, who did not believe there was a reason to cancel. We made a statement to that effect along with advice from the LLCHD about personal hygiene and that we would continue to heed and monitor their advice and direction.

On Tuesday, March 10, the number of inquiries continued to grow. That afternoon, I called a special meeting of the LARC Board of Directors for the evening of March 11, immediately prior to the club meeting to discuss our response, if any.

On Wednesday, March 11, Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor-Baird made the announcement that the boys’ NSAA State Tournament scheduled for this weekend would continue, but would be closed to everyone except participants, immediate family, and working media. I immediately contacted the LLCHD Coronavirus Hotline and was told that they were not recommending the cancellation of events.

At the special meeting, the Board voted to continue with the Convention based on the information then in our possession. During the club meeting, Dr. Ken Dewey, WD0BIV, announced that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln would be announcing that gatherings of more than 50 people on campus would be canceled, and as a result, Weatherfest, scheduled for April 4, would be canceled. After the meeting, the National Basketball Association suspended the remainder of their season and we were notified that the ARRL officials we were expecting to have at the convention had canceled due to their concerns over travel.

On Thursday, March 12, the news continued to get worse. The NCAA canceled all championships in winter and spring sports, including March Madness and the College World Series. Major League Baseball suspended baseball operations until at least the middle of April. In Nebraska, both the Big Ten and Rocky Mountain Conferences suspended all sporting events. UNL, which had been the last Big Ten member to not cancel classes, canceled classes (along with the remainder of the University of Nebraska system universities) as well as Concordia Nebraska, Doane, and other local schools. Convention chair Mike Long, K0SHC, made contact with the LLCHD and was told that their recommendation was now that gatherings of more than 50 people should be avoided. At that time, Mike spoke with the Lancaster Event Center and was able to obtain a move to October 31. It was then announced that the convention would not continue this weekend and would be rescheduled to October 31.

At this time, we still anticipate having our April Club Meeting, which will occur at Northern Lighthouse Church, 6141 North 14th Street. Section Emergency Coordinator Ed Holloway, K0RPT, will discuss our storm watch policy and procedures. This meeting will be live-streamed on Facebook Live for those who must or choose to stay home.
I would like to reiterate the advice being given by the LLCHD:

  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • If you are in one of the high risk categories (older adults and those persons with a compromised immune system), consider staying home to avoid unnecessary contact).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Greet others with a smile instead of a handshake or hug.

To this, I would like to add that we should be checking on one another, and providing any help as necessary to our family, friends, fellow hams, and neighbors. However, remaining calm, informed, and rational will be one of the best defenses against the uncertainty of the current situation.

Again, the decision to cancel our Hamfest was not one that was made lightly or easily. We will continue to heed the advice of the LLCHD in our operations. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this trying time in our community, nation, and indeed world.

Any updates will be posted on club social media and the nightly nets.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by phone or text at 402-613-4444 or at wj0tx@arrl.net

Sincerely,
Justin Williamson, WJ0TX
President, Lincoln Amateur Radio Club
Public Information Officer, Nebraska Section ARRL

March 12, 2020

It is with great regret that I must announce that the 2020 Lincoln Hamfest, the ARRL Nebraska State Convention, scheduled for March 14, will not be held and has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 31.

Throughout the uncertainty of recent world events, we have worked to follow the advice of local officials. It has been recommended by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department that we not host a large gathering of people at this time.

If you have prepaid for the event, an email address will be posted shortly to request a refund.

We apologize for the inconvenience, however, we do recognize the importance of contributing to helping “flatten the curve” of COVID-19. We look forward to hosting everyone in October.

Thank you,
Justin Williamson, WJØTX

March 9, 2020

The recent news of the appearance of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 in Nebraska can certainly cause some alarm. However, at this time, the Lincoln Hamfest, the ARRL Nebraska State Convention, will continue as planned on Saturday, March 14, 2020, at the Lancaster Event Center.

While the cases in Douglas and Dodge Counties may have exposed some Lancaster County residents to the virus, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) has not reported any cases of the virus in Lancaster County. If you attended the Special Olympics event in Fremont, Nebraska, on February 29, and are feeling ill please take cautionary procedures and do not attend the Nebraska ARRL Convention.

While some things may currently feel uncertain, common sense is unchanging. Please follow the advice of the LLCHD:

  • Avoid being in close proximity to those who are sick
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Wash your hands with soap and water

If you are sick, particularly with a fever or persistent cough, stay home and keep your distance from others

We look forward to welcoming amateur radio operators from across the country to the Capital City to celebrate ham radio in the Cornhusker State. For those attending, you may participate in our talk-in on 146.76(-).

We will continue to monitor and heed the advice of the LLCHS and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Should changes need to be made, they will be published to LARC social media ( fb.me/LARCLincoln, fb.me/LARCgroup, and twitter.com/k0kkv ), the LARC and Hamfest website ( k0kkv.org and lincolnhamfest.org ) and on the ARRL Nebraska Section social media outlets ( twitter.com/ARRLNebraska and fb.me/ARRLNebraskaSection ), as well as on the nightly net on 146.76(-)

Further questions can be addressed to Justin Williamson, WJØTX, LARC President, at wj0tx@arrl.net or Mike Long, KØSHC, Convention Committee Chair, at k0shc13@yahoo.com