Study shows risk for COVID-19 spread is ‘low to very low’ at concerts presuming proper ventilation, adherence to safety measures
A German study highlighted that concerts can in fact be safe during the coronavirus pandemic if certain measures are followed. Specifically, findings from the study indicated the risk for COVID-19 spread to be “low to very low” in concert settings presuming that the venue has adequate ventilation. This finding was also predicated on event organizers’ adherence to hygiene and capacity protocols.
The study consisted of 1,200 participants who were invited to a concert-based experiment where different groups attended a concert with varying levels of social distancing measures. Although all in attendance had previously tested negative for COVID-19, the researchers emulated a real-world scenario through a mix of contact tracing and a simulation of fluid-dynamics to track the risk of infection throughout the course of the event.
In all, the results demonstrated that, with the right social distancing and ventilation measures in place, concerts could actually have little to no impact on the spread of a virus like COVID-19. With that being said, it’s important to note what on-premise measures the study recommends. One aspect of the concert-going experience that proved crucial for the safety of attendees was the seating arrangement. The study authors tested several types of seating layouts, but ultimately found that spacing rules (of “at least checkerboard pattern seating”) were essential to stop the spread of a would-be virus.
The research was also conducted with the use of N95 masks for all participants, however just over 10 percent of those in attendance found them problematic. Finally, and completely out of the hands of the patrons, the study found that all of these ideas rest on the venue’s provision of sufficient ventilation. Although this study focused only on the safety of indoor concerts, the deductions could positively inform organizers’ approaches to outdoor event orchestration in the coming festival season.
H/T: The New York Times
Featured image: Andy Paradise