sci21127 — Announcement

Gemini COVID-19 Update

November 19, 2021

In Hawai‘i, the decline in case counts and hospitalizations noted in the news for October has continued, but we have not yet returned to the levels seen prior to 4 July 2021. Operations at Gemini North continue unchanged and we are making preparations to return to a more normal summit schedule, enabling more consistent work on the telescope and instruments and permitting a number of projects to make better progress. Night operations and daytime attendance at the Hilo base are largely unchanged, modulo the addition of a number of new staff members as noted below.

Gemini South is in its engineering shutdown at the time of writing, assisted by an increase in occupancy in the buses which take engineering staff members to the mountain every day. That increase, and the optional return-to-office noted in the October e-News for the Gemini/NOIRLab Community were both implemented in recognition of the low case counts in Chile, so a more recent upturn in case counts in the Coquimbo region is being monitored closely. We do not expect night operations, when they resume, to be impacted by this recent upturn. 

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