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NRAO Coronavirus COVID-19 Response > news > NRAO/GBO update - Wed Apr 22nd

NRAO/GBO update - Wed Apr 22nd

This is week six in Infectious Disease Operating Status (IDOS). The North American NRAO/GBO instruments are all operational. IT systems are performing well.  We are planning to remain in IDOS until Monday, June 1st 2020. 

I have received no new reports of NRAO or GBO staff receiving medical care for COVID-19. Strict physical distancing, and monitoring whenever possible your external interactions (necessary shopping, people visits, etc.) remain important. Please contact Jody Bolyard jbolyard@nrao.edu) or me if you need more information regarding COVID-19. If you or family members encounter illness (tested for COVID-19 or not), please let HR know at some point so we can assess overall staff health. For people visiting the facilities regularly (skeleton crew) or occasionally, please remember - face coverings are now required.

This week, a document describing the procedures we will follow to restart office work in Charlottesville was distributed for broad comment. Edgemont Rd. is going first to define these procedures (which should be similar for the office buildings and functions across NRAO and GBO), and I hope we can start implementing them soon. Efforts continue to document field (telescope) key areas, essential activities and the personal protective equipment (e.g. masks, gloves, suits) across both Observatories. More news on our return to the buildings, and approaches to enable more field corrective and preventative maintenance work, in coming weeks. At the national level, we are seeing discussions of the widespread removal of work and personal restrictions, with significant differences of opinion apparent. As an essential service, and with the support from NSF we are receiving, we have full flexibility to make the best possible decisions for our staff about when and how to modify/remove our work restrictions.  In all cases, we have another five weeks in IDOS, at which point we’ll have more data. Infection rates have slowed in major metropolitan areas over the past week or two, which is an important piece of news during a terrible time.  

Please remember - timecards are due this week.  

My next note will be Wed Apr 29th.  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

Tony Beasley