COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus disease, caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.) Viruses, and the diseases they cause, often have different names. For example, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. People often know the name of a disease, such as measles, but not the name of the virus that causes it (rubeola).
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of this disease a global health emergency in January 2020, as cases surged in China, where SARS-CoV-2 was first detected. On 11 March 2020, WHO assessed the severity of this outbreak and declared it a pandemic. A full map tracking every reported coronavirus case can be found at The New York Times
Suspension of square dance activities
As recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), "social distancing" became a strategy for reducing the spread of COVID-19. This meant suspending classes, workshops, and other dance events until more information could be gathered about the pandemic.
- March 6, 2020: Puddletown Squares canceled its Rain Festival fly-in "Swingin In The Rain."
- March 8, 2020: Puddletown Squares canceled all Level Club nights and classes through the end of March, 2020.
- March 9, 2020: Rosetown Ramblers suspended its dance lessons.
- March 10, 2020: Tech Squares "is closed at least until the end of the spring semester. We voted to cancel shortly before MIT forced our hand by effectively shutting down." Ginda Fisher reports "We were waiting for an announcement from MIT (expected at 1PM) and when it didn't come, we went ahead and canceled the dance that evening. They published later that afternoon that MIT was shutting down at the end of the week (until the end of the semester), and all student activities should stop. That evening, we had a teleconference to decide the peripheral stuff, like how to do elections without meeting in person." [Tech Squares Website
- March 12, 2020: Boots in Squares canceled its season of beginning square dance classes, scheduled to start April 13, 2020. Next class scheduled for September, 2020. Its 27th Anniversdary dance, set for Mar 21, 2020 was also canceled.
- March 12, 2020: Chi-Town Squares suspended all dancing until April 9, 2020.
- March 12, 2020: DC Lambda Squares suspended its activities through March 26, 2020.
- March 12, 2020: Diablo Dancers also suspended activities.
- March 12, 2020: El Camino Reelers suspended club dancing through April 21, 2020.
- March 12, 2020: Foggy City Dancers suspended club dancing through April 6, 2020.
- March 12, 2020: Oaktown 8's suspended club dancing for an indefinite period, due to their hall being shut down by the City of Oakland.
- March 12, 2020: Elks N Does, a non-IAGSDC club in Alameda CA, suspended club dancing for a "two week" period. (Reported by Kurt Gollhardt, who calls for them.) Elks N Does Website
- March 12, 2020: Outlaws, a non-IAGSDC club in San Jose CA, suspended club dancing for a "two week" period. (GCA callers Harlan Kerr, Kurt Gollhardt, Rob French, and Andy Shore all call for them.) Outlaws Website
- March 12, 2020: Prime 8s cancelled its workshops for the remainder of March, 2020.
- March 12, 2020: Redwood Rainbows canceled all its regularly scheduled classes and workshops for the month of March.
- March 12, 2020: Times Squares suspended its activities for the remainder of March, 2020.
- March 12, 2020: Wilde Bunch canceled events and classes through April 5, including its Anniversary Dance to be held March 21, 2020.
- March 13, 2020: Chesapeake Squares suspended all dance activities until the Maryland state of emergency has been lifted.
- March 13, 2020: Ettseteras reported as "suspending all class and club nights effective March 16 through April 6, hopefully reconvening on April 13, 2020. Will re-evaluate at that time."
- March 13, 2020: Hotlanta Squares suspended club dancing through April 15, 2020.
- March 13, 2020: Lone Star Lambdas suspending dancing until further notice.
- March 13, 2020: Ottawa Date Squares canceled all classes until further notice.
- March 13, 2020: South Florida Mustangs suspended activities for an indefinite period.
- March 13, 2020: Suncoast Squares suspended activities through the end of March.
- March 14, 2020: Triangle Squares suspended activities until at least April 6, 2020.
- March 14, 2020: Cuesta Squares suspended activities March 14th, 2020 through April 8th, 2020.
- March 14, 2020: CALLERLAB canceled its April 6-8, 2020 annual convention.
- March 14, 2020: Rocky Mountain Rainbeaus dancing suspended until April 17. The board is meeting prior to the 17th to re-evaluate.
- March 15, 2020: Capital City Squares canceled its March, 2020 blast classes.
- March 15, 2020: Temple Squares canceled dances for March 19 and March 26. The board will meet March 29 to discuss.
- March 15, 2020: Spin Cycle Squares of Eugene Oregon has cancelled activities until further notice.
- March 15, 2020: Heads to the Center dancing suspended until April.