University of Wisconsin-Madison

IceCube and COVID-19

IceCube Collaboration

The IceCube Collaboration includes over 300 scientists and supporting staff at 52 institutions in 12 countries. Our number-one priority has always been the health and safety of the people that make up IceCube. Our thoughts are with everyone around the world as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are following the precautions outlined by our local, state, and national authorities. For almost all of us, this means large group meetings (including the spring IceCube Collaboration meeting), events, nonessential travel, and public outreach activities have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

IceCube Neutrino Observatory functions

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole is fully operational. All operations can be controlled remotely from the north as can the processing and analysis of the data. Personnel in the north are telecommuting and practicing social distancing as appropriate or required.

South Pole operations

As of today, there have been no COVID-19 infections reported in Antarctica, including the South Pole. Activities at the South Pole, including maintenance and operation of the observatory, have not been affected by coronavirus.

There are 42 people currently stationed at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, which is maintained by the U.S. National Science Foundation, including two IceCube personnel. Since the South Pole closed to incoming flights in mid-February and there have since been no signs of infection there, the novel coronavirus will not reach the South Pole during the austral winter. We are continuing to monitor the situation closely while remaining in close contact with NSF and our personnel stationed there.

We will update this message if the situation changes.