Dear LCO community:
I hope you’re all doing very well. We are optimistic, as there are signs of a flattening out of the contagion curve at the national level, but also pessimistic, as the Coquimbo region looks bad. In today’s report from the Ministerio de Salud, 284,541 total cases of people infected with COVID-19 were announced in the country since the beginning of the pandemic, with 2,498 new cases. Of those who died, 167 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, for a total of 5,920.
The Coquimbo Region, as of yesterday, had 69 new cases of contagion and, of the 806 active cases, 37 patients are in a serious condition, connected to mechanical ventilation. According to some information, about 90% of the ICU beds in the region are occupied.
After analyzing these statistics on a daily basis, both in Chile and worldwide, we believe that the number of cases seems to have peaked in much of the country during the last week. However, infections appear to be increasing in the Coquimbo region, where many of the LCO workers live, and the percentage of positive tests remains high throughout the country. For this reason, we are extending the closure of Las Campanas Observatory until at least August 3, 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide another update in two weeks.
I would like to highlight the importance of the digital transformation we are driving at LCO. This involves enhancing and automating our operation, in the various areas that make up the observatory. This transformation is a fact for LCO, not an option, especially at this time when the importance of digitizing processes is more present than ever, given the impossibility of meeting physically and the new modality of teleworking that we have implemented while the country continues to be affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
We want to take advantage and adopt the technological advances to speed up, for example, the signing of documents and the delivery of information between workers and headquarters. This implies a change in some forms of work that require adaptation, which I know may be more complex for some of you. That is why I am asking you to communicate all your requests for training to your headquarters, to guide them in the process.
As always, it is very important to continue with Coronavirus prevention measures to keep us and our families healthy. We ask you to inform us about your particular situations through the daily reports of the Declaration of Health and Daily Work.
I appreciate your patience and understanding in this situation.
Leopoldo Infante Lira
Director Las Campanas Observatory