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NRAO Coronavirus COVID-19 Response > news > NRAO/GBO update - Wed May 13th

NRAO/GBO update - Wed May 13th

This is week nine in Infectious Disease Operating Status (IDOS). The North American NRAO/GBO instruments are all operational. IT systems are going well. We are planning to remain in IDOS until at least Monday, June 1st 2020.  In Chile, the Joint ALMA Observatory has begun planning to bring ALMA online in coming months.

There are no confirmed reports of NRAO or GBO staff receiving medical care for COVID-19. Please contact Jody Bolyard jbolyard@nrao.edu) or me if you need more information regarding COVID-19.  Please remember to wear a face covering if you do enter one of our facilities.

Return to work and the reopening of businesses are continuing across the US this week. It is strongly recommended you and your families continue avoiding public places, wearing face coverings when in public, maintaining physical distance separations (6 ft+), avoiding potentially contaminated surfaces and items, and practicing regular hand washing and sterilization. At the all-hands presentations I will be describing NRAO’s plan over the next few months for our return to work. Karen O’Neil will be giving a similar update to GBO shortly following my talk. There is a lot of interesting discussion underway about schools restarting in the fall, colleges continuing online in the next semester, etc., with different states and countries coming to different conclusions. Example: Australia has generally assessed that child-to-child transmission is not a significant contributor to community spread of COVID-19, and schools have remained open, though modified (e.g., physical distancing students, when possible). In this country and in Europe, at the moment authorities believe the overall risk of community infection spread from children is about the same as that from adults. Over the next few months some real-life experiments will be run across the world testing these theories, and perhaps we’ll know the right answer when we need to in September.     

I note our colleagues in Chile (Santiago) went into a city-wide lockdown this week, and the number of infection cases is rising rapidly. We all hope the situation down there  improves quickly. Like many countries around the world, Chile has found lowering the COVID-19 infection rate to be a challenge in its major cities.

Any staff member with questions, concerns or comments you want me to address at the all-hands meetings, please email them to me beforehand. If you have other issues, 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 at the all-hands presentations Thursday/Friday. See you next week. 

Tony Beasley