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Observatory Cancels Group Tours of Very Large Array and ALMA Public Visits

Aerial shot over the 27 telescopes of the Very Large Array.
Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF

In order to reduce the risk of possible exposure to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the ALMA Observatory are taking these preventive measures*:

Very Large Array
All group tours of the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) are cancelled. The cancellations will continue through May 31.

The cancellation includes the semi-annual Open House scheduled for April 4, the first and third Saturday guided tours, and special tours for schools and organizations. The VLA’s visitor center, self-guided walking tour, and gift shop will remain open to tourists.

Visitors will be able to access the visitor center, the outdoor walking tour, and the gift shop. The cancelled events are those that bring large numbers of people together in close proximity, and thus elevate the potential for disease transmission. No new reservations for group tours are being accepted. In addition, the observatory asks that visitors stay home if they are ill.

Please visit https://public.nrao.edu/visit/very-large-array/ for the most recent updates on VLA visits.

“Our first priority is the safety and health of our visitors and our staff, and these cancellations are being done to minimize the risk of exposure to this virus,” said NRAO Director Tony Beasley. “We want to protect our visitors as well as our employees who keep the VLA
operating,” he added.

ALMA
In order to safeguard staff and visitors well-being and the operation of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Observatory, the ALMA public visits held every weekend will be cancelled until the end of April 2020. Please visit https://www.almaobservatory.org/ for the most recent updates on ALMA public visits.

*Observatory officials continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and the recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and will revise NRAO policies accordingly. Changes will be communicated to the public.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.


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