A lot of our activities are continuing (e.g. physics data analysis, software development, technical studies, administration and so forth), and some teams have actually seen a surge e.g. the IT team that is working hard to provide videoconferencing support for everyone. Our communications team is also very busy!
As of last Friday, CERN has now reduced all activities on-site to those that are essential for the safety and security of the sites and equipment. The number of people with access to the CERN sites is limited; it is considered safe to be on site with regard to COVID-19 as long as people respect the safety measures.
As CERN was moving into the final stage of a long shutdown (Long Shutdown 2 – LS2), no accelerators were operational. The goal of last week was to safely stop all the maintenance, consolidation, and upgrade work that was in progress. The approach is to keep baseline services at CERN running (e.g., ventilation, cooling, electrical supply, safety systems), whilst leaving all material and equipment in a secure state, so that things are ready to restart quickly when operations can begin again. Monitoring during this phase will include on-site checks, with technical infrastructure operators maintaining their usual 24/7 physical presence in our main control room. Extensive on-call support is in place in case of problems.
Now that all activities have been reduced, CERN is now working on how the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the LS2 schedule and other activities and how best to recover when the time comes. The global COVID-19 situation is still evolving; we will continue to monitor ongoing events, and adapt according to what happens in our Host States and across the world.
As we enter safe-mode and prepare to plan for a return to full activity, our thoughts go out to all those touched by the virus.
CERN continues to monitor the evolution of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. For up-to-date information, please see: https://hse.cern/news-article/coronavirus-recommendations.