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Very Large Array cancels group tours due to coronavirus

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The National Radio Astronomy Observatory has canceled all group tours of the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array in Socorro County to reduce the risk of possible exposure to the coronavirus. The cancellations begin March 15 and will continue through May 31.

The cancellation includes the 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.

“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.”

The canceled 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. The observatory asks that visitors stay home if they are ill.

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