And the result is good.
Back to August 22nd, 2020 – German scientists recruited volunteers, aged between 18 and 50 – as pop music fans for a “coronavirus experiment” music concertgoers in indoor concert hall in the city of Leipzig with the singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko and the project was called Restart-19. And the result has now come out.
“There is no argument for not having such a concert,” Dr. Michael Gekle, part of the team at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg who conducted the study, said in an interview. “The risk of getting infected is very low.”
Analysis of the indoor concert staged by scientists back in August suggests that the impact of such events on the spread of the coronavirus is “low to very low” as long as organizers ensure adequate ventilation, strict hygiene protocols and limited capacity, according to the German researchers who conducted the study.
“We knew that ventilation was important but we didn’t expect it to be that important,” said Dr. Gekle.
And Dr. Gabriel Scally, president of epidemiology and public health at the Royal Society of Medicine, said the findings were potentially “useful,” but that it might be difficult to replicate the controls that the researchers had implemented at many real-life events.
The German team has already made a series of recommendations for safety guidelines at live events including installing new ventilation technology that effectively and regularly exchanges air, seated food and drink breaks, making masks compulsory and directing attendees through multiple entrances.
“Obviously if masks are going to work for larger gigs then that’s big progress,” said Emily Eavis, co-organizer of the Glastonbury Festival, an outdoor event that drew crowds of about 135,000 people before the pandemic shut it down this summer, though she added it was much too early to tell. “We are hoping for more news by the end of the year.”
How was the Restart-19 project going in August 2020? At that time, each of the concertgoers equipped with tracking gadgets, disinfect their hands with a fluorescent hand-sanitiser, and different social distancing scenarios were simulated over 10 hours – to get detailed picture of how Covid-19 could be prevented from spreading at large indoor concerts. After the concert, scientists scoured the venue with UV lights to identify surfaces where a transmission of the virus through smear infection is most likely to take place.
And with the digital tracking gadget, a matchstick-sized “contact tracer” devices on chains around their necks that transmit a signal at five-second intervals and collect data on each person’s movements and proximity to other members of the audience.
Participants were not distanced in one scenario, partially distanced in a checkerboard formulation in a second, and strictly distanced in a third.
Researchers also used a fog machine to observe the movement of air inside the venue and calculate the likelihood of exposure to aerosol droplets.
For more information about Restart-19 Project: PDF Restart-19 Study.
Source: Restart-19 Study — German coronavirus experiment enlists help of concertgoers — Coronavirus Study in Germany Offers Hope for Concertgoers — Coronavirus researchers in Germany invited thousands to a concert. For science..