Today, March 8, 2021, the Chilean Ministry of Health announced 4,733 new cases of COVID-19 in the country (positivity of 13.1%), 65 of them in the Atacama Region and 209 in the Coquimbo Region. Due to the latter, as of Thursday, March 11 at 5 am, the communes of Salamanca, Coquimbo, La Serena and Vicuña will go back to Quarantine, phase 1 in the Government’s “Step by Step” plan.
Due to the sustained increase of COVID-19 cases in the Coquimbo Region, we have decided to extend the closure of the Clay telescope until March 29, 2021, maintaining remote observations with Baade. Regarding the Carnegie telescopes, only the Swope telescope will remain in operation. The robotic and remote telecopes will remain closed. We expect to update the information in two weeks.
Our decision follows the official indicators defined in the Government’s plans, along with the analysis of current conditions in the regions where our staff lives, and within which the observatory operates.
In addition, at Las Campanas Observatory the Ops-1 operations phase is maintained, in effect since January 26, 2021, both on the mountain and at the El Pino offices. To learn more about this phase, you can read the document published on our website.
If you want information on the progress of Coronavirus in the country or in which stage of the “Step by step” plan is a locality or region, you can visit the territorial Visor website. On the other hand, if you want information about the vaccination plan in Chile, you can check the following websites:
It is very important that we all follow the recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As always, I thank you for your collaboration and willingness in this situation.
Leopoldo Infante Lira
Director Las Campanas Observatory