Due to the infection rate in the region remains low, we have decided to move from phase C1 to C2 of the reopening of Las Campanas Observatory. This determination is governed by the official indicators defined in the government’s “Step by Step” plans and the analysis of the current conditions in the regions where our staff lives, in which the observatory operates.
In phase C2, the health protocols already adopted and the return of night operations in the Magellan and duPont telescopes are maintained, with a minimum staff of 18 people in the mountains. In addition, APOGEE can operate with 2 people.
Priority continues to be given to teleworking except for essential jobs, maintaining the medical restrictions of the staff and the presence of the headquarters in the Pine and Mountain according to the needs.
Regarding transportation, it will be minimal with limitations within the shift. For health and logistic reasons, there are strict restrictions on the transfer of personnel to and from the hill on days and times different from their shift changes and they are requested to arrive at El Pino using private transportation.
Remote observations are maintained with one more Support Astronomer. In addition, robotic facility operations may be initiated that require a technical visit to the site, with personnel from the region coordinated within a given shift. This is because the isolation between shifts in the mountains continues.
At El Pino, room 5 (4) is kept as a remote control room(s).
There will be restricted permits for urgent technical visits during the day and basic operations at El Pino and Montaña and contracted services are maintained. It is important to mention that the stages of the reopening of the Observatory are subject to change and that the responsibility for approving or not the phase transitions falls on the Director.
I thank you all for your patience and great work during these difficult months.
Leopoldo Infante Lira
Director Observatorio Las Campanas