8 Jan 2021

TSP Coronavirus Rules:

  • Wear a facial cover/mask
    • REQUIRED at all times in public buildings, the pool, and in/near the showers
    • Outdoors: Masks are suggested but optional
  • Maintain social distancing (at least 6 feet)
    • REQUIRED at all times in public buildings, the pool, and in/near the showers, and in all outdoor social situations
      • especially in any “lines”
    • Set up your telescope(s) at least 15′ away from neighboring telescopes

How are things different at TSP?

  • You will be required to provide a signed  COVID-19 Check-in form  upon arrival at the Ranch front gate
  • Dining Hall entry requires a check of your temperature (IR forehead) by a TSP volunteer
    • You will not be allowed to enter if you have a temperature
  • Your meals at TSP:
    • Staggered meal serving times (exceptions allowed)

      • Last names A-J First half
      • Last names K-Z Second half
    • Meals will be served by Ranch staff (no-touch by attendees)
      • Also pick up your boxed salad, drink and dessert
    • Seating will include tables in both the Dining Hall and nearby Meeting Hall.
    • You can also take your meal to your room/campsite


Suggestions for your safety:

  • Get your COVID-19 vaccinations, if available to you
  • Get tested locally, or use a Coronavirus Home-Test if you get symptoms (results in 3-6 days)
  • Avoid shaking hands with others… this year a cheerful smile and a wave might do!
  • Bring hand-sanitizer, disinfectant, a thermometer and aspirin/acetaminophen or other fever-reducing medication, to self monitor and medicate

  • Get a Buddy! Have a backup evacuation plan
    • What happens if you get ill with symptoms of COVID-19? We prefer that you leave TSP as soon as practical.
    • Arrange in advance with another person at TSP who can take you home, and vice versa
      • This can be your roommate, another adult in your party, another TSP attendee, or someone nearby (up to 3 hours on short notice)
    • A buddy is a better solution, than driving alone while you are ill
    • Please don’t come unless you have a buddy! We will be unable to help you with transport!
    • You can post your personal ad for a TSP Buddy on the RoomRideShare Forum !
    • Carry your personal eyepiece when looking through multiple telescopes
    • Ask the telescope operator to remove their eyepiece
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue (or bent elbow) and throw the tissue in the trash
  • Avoid sharing personal items like utensils, food, and drinks
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food
    • or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Periodically wipe down surfaces with disinfectant (ladder sides, other “public” surfaces)


Self-reporting at TSP:
What to do if you show symptoms at TSP

  • Isolate yourself, until you know more information.
  • Notify your roommate(s). Have them contact TSP.  
  • TSP may send someone to get information from you
  • Contacts:
    • email us at covid@texasstarparty.org
    • Radio, call us. FRS/GMRS Radio Ch6 Sub0 or Ch15 Sub11 or Ham radio 442.8+, pl 110.9-
    • Go to the Radio building (by tower), and ask them to notify the COVID team.
    • Ask the Ranch Front office to notify the COVID team
  • Notify your TSP Buddy early, to give them a heads-up on possible up-coming departure
  • If your symptoms persist (next morning?), consider leaving ASAP to get home safely!

Other Factors to Consider:

  • If you (or buddy) gets sick, but not in respiratory distress (ie not requiring emergency breather), you will likely NOT qualify for transport nor admission the hospital in Alpine.  They may turn you away in which case the nearest medical facility is 200 miles away and you would need to travel while ill to get treated or to go home.
  • Did you know that the TSP environment has impacted attendees in similar ways as the Coronavirus?
    • A very dusty environment can cause coughs, sneezing, and other allergy symptoms
    • High elevation (5,000′) can cause shortness of breath, especially in older people or those with respiratory limitations (COPD, etc)
    • These factors make it difficult to distinguish that a person has COVID-19 or if they have a common malady
    • Just because a person shows these symptoms does NOT mean they have Coronavirus. However we ask that everyone show consideration for others and leave TSP if you show these symptoms, especially when presenting multiple symptoms such as high fever and loss of your sense of taste or smell.