From / de Gerald Schieven (ALMA)
(Cassiopeia – Summer / été 2020)
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the global community, including ALMA users and staff. While ALMA operations remain suspended, ALMA and ARC staff have been working actively on plans to restart operations at a time that it is feasible. In these unprecedented circumstances, ALMA’s first priority is the health and safety of all our staff, many of whom travel long distances by bus and plane to reach the remote ALMA telescope site in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. At this time, and given the current evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak in Chile, it is unclear when a ramp-up to start operations could begin, or when a restart of science operations will be possible. ALMA is working on guidelines and considerations for the restart of operations and will provide a next update to the community in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, Caretaker teams continue to maintain the safety of the ALMA equipment and infrastructure in both Santiago and in San Pedro, while all other staff continue to work remotely from their homes. The Regional ARCs continue to provide support to their communities.
An ALMA Town Hall was held on May 22, hosted by ALMA Director Sean Dougherty and North American ARC manager Tony Remijan. This presentation, along with an extended Q&A session, was recorded and is available to watch here.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns related to the situation at ALMA, please contact the ALMA Helpdesk.