CFHT COVID-19 Related Changes to Operations 


Update:  March 24, 2020 

On March 23, 2020, Governor Ige ordered all residents of the state of Hawaii to stay at home until April 30. In support of these directives, Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope is instituting the following changes to our operations effective 5:00p HST March 24, until further notice:

• Working at home is mandatory for all staff
• Nightime observations are suspended
• Operations at our Waimea headquarters and summit will be limited to emergency response only; staff may visit facilities to provide critical maintenance for the observatories’ sophisticated equipment to prevent potential damage.
• Interisland, mainland and international travel is canceled
• Tours of CFHT facilities (Maunakea and Waimea) are canceled
• Personnel policies will be adapted to support staff who are unable to work due to COVID-19

“The order from Governor Ige is critical to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread,” said Doug Simons, CFHT’s executive director. “Our first priority is the safety of our observatory ʻohana and community during these difficult times.”

As the situation evolves, we continue to closely monitor COVID-19 updates and follow all recommendations from the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health and Federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Update: March 16, 2020

The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope is adapting operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While no cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Hawaii County (Big Island), we plan to follow CDC recommendations on social distancing to protect our staff and community.

“These are challenging circumstances for everyone, but I am committed to taking actions to keep our CFHT ‘ohana and community safe” said Doug Simons, executive director of CFHT.

Essential elements of Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope’s plans to sustain operations while minimizing risks from COVID-19 include:
• Effective Wednesday, March 18th, working at home is mandatory for all staff who can perform their duties from home.
• We will limit our operations at our Waimea headquarters and summit to essential tasks.
• We cancelled all mainland and international travel through April 30th.
• All tours of CFHT facilities (Maunakea and Waimea) are cancelled until further notice.
• We adapted our personnel policies to better support staff who are unable to work due to COVID-19 related reasons.
• Our queued service observing operations allow us to continue to observe from our Waimea remote observing room.

As conditions change, we will post updates on our website and through social media.

Contact Information:

Media contact:
Mary Beth Laychak
Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope