LCO Phases of Operation

This new version of the document is based on the conditions in the country as of April 2022 considering the changes to “Paso-a-Paso” at Red, Yellow, Green levels.

This document outlines 3 phases of operation at Las Campanas Observatory considering altered levels of the pandemic associated with Covid-19. All rules apply equally to El Pino offices and mountain facilities. The preparation and modification of this document is the responsibility of the Reopening Committee, appointed ad hoc by the Director. 

Recommendations to change phases will follow the many of the official indicators defined in the “Paso-a-Paso” government plans. The Director has the prerogative to approve recommended transitions between  phases or maintain the present phase of operations.

Phase Ops_1: RED Only essential operations 

  • Minimal “shared risk” night operations (1 Magellan and possibility of duPont or Swope)
  • Remote observations.
  • Maintain telescopes and instruments at operational status.
  • Covid-19 test before entering LCO provided transportation to the site or on site at the paramedic facility if arriving in private transportation or driving oneself.
  • Isolation between teams on the standard 8/6 work shifts.
  • Capacity restrictions specified in our protocols in all vehicles and interior areas.
  • Mandatory use of a mask in all areas.
  • Minimum transportation options with limitations within the standard 8/6 work shift. Use of KN-95 mask mandatory
  • Presence of group leaders on site according to operational needs.
  • Restrictions to avoid public transport for arrival to El Pino offices or mountain.
  • Restricted access for coordinated urgent technical visits (only daytime) (Exceptional situations with authorization from the Director).
  • Operations of robotic installations independently without technical visits to the site.
  • Maintain teleworking as much as possible.
  • Minimize on site work to essential activities not possible via remote options.

Phase Ops_2:  YELLOW Limited Operations

  • Night operations (Magellan 1 & 2, duPont, Swope) with required on-site staff.
  • Magellan – Remote observations
  • duPont – Remote or in situ observations limited to local staff.
  • Swope – Limited in situ observations for local staff. 
  • Covid-19 test before entering LCO provided transportation to the site or on site at the paramedic facility if arriving in private transportation or driving oneself.
  • Capacity restrictions specified in our protocols in all vehicles and interior areas.
  • Mandatory use of a mask in all areas.
  • Transportation with some limitations. Vehicle capacity restrictions per our protocols and mandatory use KN-95 mask
  • Presence of group leaders on site according to operational needs.
  • Use of public transportation will be considered for the particular conditions for each trip between regions as confirmed with the direct supervisor and the reopening committee.
  • Restricted access for coordinated urgent technical visits (only daytime) (Exceptional situations with authorization from the Director).
  • Visits (Exceptional situations with the authorization of the Director).
  • Operations of robotic installations that require a technical visit to the site (with the authorization of the Director and coordination with site staff).
  • Contractors category 1a, 1b, 1c, 2
  • Maintain teleworking as coordinated with a direct supervisor.
  • Coordination of required effort for all on site work.

Phase Ops_3: GREEN Full Operations remote and on site 

  • Remote and on-site night operations of all telescopes
  • Remote observations.
  • On site observations with an up to date Pase Movilidad and prior authorization.
  • Site staff coordination is required for all visitors to ensure accommodations availability.
  • Covid-19 test before entering LCO provided transportation to the site or on site at the paramedic facility if arriving in private transportation or driving oneself.
  • No capacity restrictions for indoor areas provided the mandatory use of a mask in all such locations.
  • The use of a mask is not mandatory outdoors when the distances between people are greater than one meter.
  • Public transport permitted for arrival to El Pino.
  • Normal observatory transportation following posted guidelines. No capacity restrictions in vehicles. Use of KN-95 masks is mandatory.
  • Contractors 1 and 2 permitted.
  • Visits will be considered with plans prepared and approved in advance.

Contractor Categories:

  1. Work in common and/or interior areas
  2. Day – no interactions with staff
  3. Day – with interactions with staff (with EPP and with Mobility Pass)
  4. Day + Within a shift (with EPP and with Mobility Pass)
  5. Extended work mixed with our team (with EPP and with Mobility Pass)
  6. Work in isolation (Bubble Mode) – no physical interactions between staff and contractors