USAP COVID-19 Protocol Review Process
March 10, 2023
In preparation for the 2023-24 research season, the Office of Polar Programs (OPP) will undertake a multi-step process to establish protocols to manage the continuing risks presented by COVID-19 to our deployers.
We are currently gathering feedback from the USAP community and our medical advisors to understand the effectiveness and impacts of prior years’ actions. During March and April, we will use that feedback to develop proposed COVID-19 protocols that will be reviewed by an independent panel of experts comprised of medical professionals, scientists, and community members. The panel review will take place at the end of April, and it will provide its recommendations to NSF through the OPP Advisory Committee in a publicly available report. NSF leadership will consider the Panel’s recommendations as COVID-19 protocols for the 2023-24 season are finalized at the beginning of June.
We recognize the need to clearly communicate planned protocols as soon as possible. As we move through this process, information will be shared on the USAP website and OPP web pages, as well as through direct communications with the community. The community’s patience is appreciated as we work to resume our important scientific work in Antarctica while managing risks to our deployers.
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