Release 20210125

Dear all,

Due to the increase of COVID-19 cases in the Coquimbo Region, we have decided to downgrade the operations phase at Las Campanas Observatory from Ops-2 (C2) to Ops-1, starting January 26, 2021. This applies both on the mountain and at the El Pino offices.

Our decision to change phases follows the official indicators defined in the Government's "Step by Step" plans, together with the analysis of current conditions in the regions where our staff live and within which the observatory operates.

This change implies a reduction of on-site personnel at Las Campanas Observatory. We will operate only the Baade and Swope telescopes and will close the operations of all other telescopes, including the robotic ones.

Remote observations with Baade will be maintained. The other telescopes and instruments should be kept active to ensure that they are operational.

Transportation will be minimal and limited within shifts. For health and logistical reasons, there is a strict restriction on personnel transportation to and from the hill on days and/or times other than shift changes. In addition, it is requested to avoid public transportation and to arrive at El Pino by private transport.

Urgent technical visits will be allowed and exceptional situations must be authorized by the Director.

Personnel who can work from home will be teleworking in order to minimize face-to-face work.

The change of phases of operations is suggested by the Reopening Committee and the responsibility for approving or not the transitions of phases rests with the Director.


Leopoldo Infante Lira

Director Las Campanas Observatory

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