MMT Extended Closure

Leave a Comment Due to concerns over the Coronavirus pandemic, the MMT Observatory suspended nighttime operations on Tuesday, March 17th. Since then, routine site inspections by a single staff member have been conducted on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Currently, there is no timeline for returning to normal or even reduced operations. We continue to monitor the pandemic and evaluate the risks. Any decision to restart operations will be based on orders and recommendations from federal, state, and local governments and from the guidance provided by the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona. Consistent with Governor Ducey’s executive order to stay-at-home until April 30th, it is unlikely that any level of operations would begin before May 1. The MMT staff are working on a “Plan for the Resumption of Operations” that will outline measures to ensure the safety of both the daytime staff and the nighttime staff. That plan will include an option and protocols for returning to a “reduced operations” mode if it remains unsafe to resume normal operations. Please stay safe and be well.