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NRAO Coronavirus COVID-19 Response > news > NRAO/GBO update - Fri Apr 3rd

NRAO/GBO update - Fri Apr 3rd

To all NRAO/GBO employees: 

We are at the end of our third week in Infectious Disease Operating Status (IDOS). The North American NRAO/GBO instruments remain operational. IT systems are performing well.  We are planning to remain in IDOS until Monday, June 1st 2020.

Last week I mentioned that our operations are deemed Essential Services for the US Government. This designation overrides any state or local stay-at-home/curfew orders, and other travel restrictions. A letter describing our Essential Status is available at: https://info.nrao.edu/covid-19/resources/nrao-gbo-essential-worker-letter/view

If any staff members are questioned about work-related travel to any NRAO location or GBO,  please present this letter.

While at present we have no NRAO/GBO or Chilean staff members with confirmed cases of COVID-19, there continues to be several people experiencing similar symptoms, without any test results available. Close family members of some staff have been positively confirmed with the virus. Over the next few weeks it is imperative you continue to practice strict physical distancing, monitor and disinfect whenever possible your external interactions (necessary shopping, people visits, etc.) and carefully consider your personal role in halting the spread of the virus. In developing your strategies for distancing and isolating yourself and your family, if there is any guidance or information we can provide to assist you, don’t hesitate to ask (please contact Jody Bolyard jbolyard@nrao.edu) or me).  If you encounter illness (you or family, tested for COVID-19 or not), please let HR know at some point so we can assess overall staff health. A few planning suggestions:

  • Identify where you can be tested, if you get symptoms; and what hospital you would go to, how you would get there, and under what circumstances, if needed. Information on these topics can be found on the COVID resources page: https://info.nrao.edu/covid-19/information/resources
  • Consider what will you do if your spouse, children, or significant others develop symptoms. How could or would you implement a quarantine solution (for 14 days) in your living arrangement?  (Good to have some early planning in place, in case a family member falls ill quickly.)
  • I suggest keeping a simple log of your external movements (shopping, family visits, etc.) so if symptoms appear, it might be easier to understand what has happened, and who else might be impacted.

My next note will be Wednesday Apr 8th.  Any staff member with questions, concerns or comments, please contact your supervisor, Department Head, Site Director, or me. As this situation continues, new challenges will emerge and I welcome hearing from you if there is something we can help with, or you have suggestions. The website containing all our COVID support information is: https://info.nrao.edu/covid-19 

The news from major metropolitan areas across the US is upsetting. Our hearts go out to the victims, and the frontline medical workers risking their lives to support them.  We need to do our part to halt the spread of the disease: stay informed, strictly enforce physical distancing and careful contacts. The next few weeks are critical.

Tony Beasley