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NRAO Coronavirus COVID-19 Response > news > NRAO/GBO update - Monday June 22nd

NRAO/GBO update - Monday June 22nd

We have successfully completed our first pay period in our Phase 1 return to full operations status. The North American NRAO/GBO instruments are all operational. IT systems are nominal. In Chile, the Office of Chilean affairs and our NRAO ISMs in the Joint ALMA Observatory remain in IDOS for now; Chile is still struggling with a high rate of new infections. Initial analysis by the JAO of returning ALMA to observing status is being discussed. 

There are no reports of NRAO or GBO staff receiving medical care for COVID-19, but testing of employees and their families is occurring in response to similar symptoms and contact tracing situations. Please continue to implement safe practices in public – face masks, physical distancing, hand washing and using sanitizer. If you need more information regarding the disease please contact ESS, or see our COVID-19 webpage (link below). Infection rates in the regions our US NRAO/GBO facilities are located in remain low, but increases in the number of new cases and hospitalizations many nearby states/major cities have been noted. This is troubling. All members of the community need to follow the scientific recommendations to defeat the pandemic, and avoid a second wave of new infections later this year. 

 The return to full operations has gone well, at all sites. I am hugely impressed by the amount of work we’re achieving in the new framework. Few major complications were seen arising from the modified processes/procedures being used. People regularly accessing the facilities have undergone temperature testing, and we are gaining good experience. Many thanks to our facility safety support teams, who have been monitoring temperatures and helping people during the return. If you have comments/questions about facility access, please let your supervisor, someone on the ESS/Facilities & Administration teams, or your dept head know. 

We are on course, working successfully. Over the past two weeks we also took some time to see ourselves and key issues in our workplace from a different perspective, exploring racial equality. The talks arranged by ODI and the Employee Diversity Group the day after the ShutdownSTEM protest were incredibly thought-provoking, and this dialog in the workplace and society in general must continue. A request to support Juneteenth in our corporate agreements with NSF and other agencies is being developed. 

Any staff member with questions, concerns or comments please contact your supervisor, Department Head, Site Director, or me. The website containing all our COVID support information is:  https://info.nrao.edu/covid-19 My next update will be July 1st, reviewing RFTO progress from our first month back in regular status. Stay safe. 

Tony Beasley