Sanford Underground Research Facility taking action against COVID-19

LEAD, S.D. — The Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead held an emergency meeting Wednesday outlining restrictive operations.

To keep workers and the facility safe, the lab, managed by the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority will take action by transitioning to level 3 operations for at least the next two weeks. This would significantly reduce staff from around 100 to 15 employees, and would also put most science projects in safe states. During this time, data would not be collected or tested.

Mike Headley, Executive Director of the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority, said “Beyond taking this measure to make sure that we’re protecting our staff, scientists and contractors that are coming up here, a big part is protecting the general public who live around the area where we do our work up in lead. And so that was a big factor, and we wanted to make sure that the residents of lead feel comfortable with what we’re doing.”

The project expected to be most impacted would be the dark matter project. Halting the project is very significant, as around two dozen labs around the world are working to become the first to actually discover and detect dark matter.

As of now, the level 3 restrictions will be in place for the next two weeks, but could easily be extended.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News