Novel Coronavirus (SARS-COV-2 and COVID-19)

At Frosty Drew Observatory we recognize the risks associated with the novel (new) coronavirus in the general area. Though we do not believe we are the authority on telling people what they should or should not be doing. We offer an educational, scientific service to the public with an overall message of hope. We believe that during this difficult and rapidly changing situation we can take solace in the cosmos, the night sky, and the natural world. This is part of our basis for remaining open to date. Recently, the RI Office of the Governor enacted Executive Orders that restrict public gatherings. This will have a significant impact on our Friday Stargazing Nights event.

At this time, we are modifying our Stargazing Nights event in the following ways:

  • The Sky Theatre facility will remain closed during all public events until further notice.
  • The Science Center facility will remain closed during all public events until further notice.
  • The Observatory primary telescope will remain inaccessible to visitors during all public events until further notice.
  • Inclement weather, as well as mostly cloudy conditions, will keep Frosty Drew closed.

We will continue to offer telescopic observation using telescopes setup in the Observatory Courtyard, and will operate under a policy of social distancing. Telescopes setup in the Courtyard are completely outdoors, and exposed to the elements, and the Courtyard is a large open space. We will offer access to a gender neutral bathroom as well, and require users to wash their hands with soap for 20-30 seconds (pretty much the length of either the Star Wars Imperial March score, or the Star Trek to boldly go motto). We also ask that visitors do not steal our toilet tissue!

We have added a section to our Visiting the Observatory page that speaks to Health and Wellness. This section was added on March 3, 2020. We ask that any potential visitor who is experiencing symptoms of any contagion (cough, fever, shortness of breath, etc) to stay home and postpone your visit. Being outside under the stars is fabulous and healthy, but if you are already experiencing symptoms of illness, exposure to the outdoors and the environment at Frosty Drew Observatory will not make you feel better. On the contrary, exposure will exacerbate your existing symptoms, which will make you more likely to transmit the contagion to others, including our team members. Frosty Drew Observatory will be here when you get better and our team members will be happy to see you well.

Lastly, it is your responsibility to keep yourself healthy and to keep your contagions away from others, whether you realize you have them or not. If you are concerned about vulnerabilities you may have to the novel coronavirus or any other contagion, then you need to evaluate the risk you expose to yourself by visiting Frosty Drew Observatory. Additionally, if you are concerned that you may be carrying a contagion, then you need to evaluate the risk you pose to others who may be more vulnerable than you. By modifying our events to outdoors only, we are attempting to stop the spread of any contagion among visitors at Frosty Drew Observatory, while continuing to offer a place where we can escape our daily stresses and reach for the stars.

As this is a rapidly evolving situation, we will post updates to our plan as they happen. For now, thank you for your understanding, stay positive, and restrict your readings on the novel coronavirus to the CDC, WHO, State Health Departments, and stay away from false information – which is just as dangerous as any contagion currently effecting our region.