In March of 2020, Cornell University responded to New York State's mandate that all "non-essential" businesses close by sending students home, closing residence halls, offices, and research labs. Only essential personnel were allowed on campus. Within a few weeks, CHESS came back to life to support essential research into new drugs to treat covid-19 and for national security. Then, over the summer, CHESS reconfigured itself to enable access and control of its facilities by remote users. CHESS has been operating all of its x-ray beamlines for users since September of 2020 with only socially distanced, essential staff on the floor.
We will review the adaptations CHESS made, their benefits and drawbacks and benefits to future operations in a post-Covid world.