German scientists perform coronavirus live performance experiments and discover that the chance of unfold is “low to very low”
In August, a team of scientists carried out an experiment on the transmission of coronaviruses in the Quarterback Immobilien Arena in Leipzig. The Restart-19 study, in which data on various activities at large indoor gatherings such as concerts was to be collected, was carried out by a team from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, led by Dr. Stefan Moritz, the head of clinical infectious diseases at the university, carried out the department. The results of the study have now been published online.
The study recruited 1,400 volunteers who were then pre-tested for COVID-19, whose temperatures were measured, and who were equipped with a digital tracking device, masks, and hand sanitizer enriched with fluorescent dye. They were then asked to simulate different scenarios with different levels of social distancing and security measures within 10 hours. The German pop singer Tim Bendzko performed.
The researchers intend to use the results to determine which concert activities pose the greatest risk of transmission in order to provide guidelines for reducing the risk of safely resuming live performances.
As the New York Times notes, the researchers found that the risk of coronavirus spreading at indoor concerts is “low to very low” as long as concert goers follow hygiene protocols and the venue has good ventilation and capacity limits.
“There is no argument for not having a concert like this,” said Dr. Michael Gekle, one of the team’s researchers, according to The Times. “The risk of infection is very low.”
The researchers found that ventilation is a particularly important variable in limiting the spread of the coronavirus. In one of the scenarios, for example, nozzles sent fresh air through the arena. In the next scenario, “fresh air was sucked into the arena from the roof and the jet nozzles switched off”. Obviously, the likelihood of coronavirus exposure was far higher in the second scenario, which means that air circulation reduces the risk.
In addition, the study found that social distancing is a major factor in reducing an infectious person’s aerosol exposure. The study found that the time of greatest close contact was during the breaks of the show and when the concert goers first arrived at the venue.
Dr. Gabriel Scally – president of epidemiology and public health for the Royal Society of Medicine – told The Times that she found the study’s results “potentially useful,” but cautioned that the environment may be difficult to replicate during normal events . Here you can find the full study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed.