September 18, 2020
The United States Antarctic Program (USAP) has sent its first crew to Antarctica since May. About 100 operations and engineering staff members of the USAP arrived on the continent on September 14.
Antarctica is the only continent free of the coronavirus. The USAP crew is being careful to keep it that way. Before taking off from New Zealand, its members spent six weeks in isolation. They were tested several times for the virus. The crew will wear masks for the first two weeks at McMurdo Station, a research facility in Antarctica. Anyone who becomes infected will be isolated and tested.
The current McMurdo staff was happy to see the new crew. “It [was] difficult not to run up and hug friends” when they arrived, station manager Erin Heard says.