Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

German Scientists Run Concerts to Learn How Coronavirus Spreads

Science
Participants wearing FFP2 protective face masks watch singer Tim Bendzko perform in the RESTART-19 COVID transmission risk assessment study in a concert setting on Aug. 22, 2020 in Leipzig, Germany. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Scientists from the German University of Halle observed conditions on Saturday at an experimental concert in the eastern city of Leipzig, where they hope to learn more about the risk of infection at large events.


The study comes as events and large gatherings remain banned in Germany until at least November. Most concert organizers and entertainment industry staff have seen their work dry up in recent months.

Popular German singer Tim Bendzko volunteered to play three separate concerts over the course of the day, which would test different configurations of the event.

Chasing Aerosols and Contact Tracing

The experiment involved 2,000 concertgoers, who were mostly young, healthy and not belonging to any high-risk group.

Attendees had to provide a negative COVID-19 test result prior to the concert and their temperature was taken upon arrival at the venue. They wore FFP2 face masks during the event and were fitted with contact-tracing devices, which would complement sensors on the ceiling of the venue that collected data on their movements.

"We want to study how much contact the participants have with one another during the concert – which is actually still not clear," research lead Stefan Moritz said.

Fluorescent disinfectant was also distributed. "After the event, we can see with ultraviolet lamps which surfaces glow in particular, meaning they were touched particularly often," Moritz added.

Halle scientists also tracked the movement of aerosols; the smallest particles in the air that can carry the virus.

Three Concert Scenarios

Scientists ran three scenarios at each concert. The first scenario was meant to resemble concerts before the pandemic, without any coronavirus measures.

The second scenario involved viewers following health and safety guidelines, while the third scenario involved a reduced number of attendees who were kept 1.5 meters apart from each other.

Data collected on Saturday will be fed into a mathematical model, which should help scientists evaluate the risks of the virus spreading in a large concert venue. The results are expected this fall.

The aim of the experiments is to find out whether concerts and other large events could be allowed to resume while avoiding high infection risks.

"It's all about taking an evidence-based approach," said Michael Gekle, dean of the medical faculty at Halle University.

Reposted with permission from DW.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

On Dec. 21, Jupiter and Saturn will be so closely aligned that they will appear as a "double planet." NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory / YouTube

The night sky has a special treat in store for stargazers this winter solstice.

Read More Show Less
Rough handling can result in birds becoming injured before slaughter. Courtesy of Mercy for Animals

By Dena Jones

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was sued three times this past summer for shirking its responsibility to protect birds from egregious welfare violations and safeguard workers at slaughterhouses from injuries and the spread of the coronavirus.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A view of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge during Arctic Bird Fest on June 25, 2019. Lisa Hupp / USFWS

By Julia Conley

Conservation campaigners on Thursday accused President Donald Trump of taking a "wrecking ball" to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as the White House announced plans to move ahead with the sale of drilling leases in the 19 million-acre coastal preserve, despite widespread, bipartisan opposition to oil and gas extraction there.

Read More Show Less
The Bond Fire, started by a structure fire that extended into nearby vegetation on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 in Silverado, CA. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

Hot, dry and windy conditions fueled a wildfire southeast of Los Angeles Thursday that injured two firefighters and forced 25,000 to flee their homes.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Hospital workers evacuate patients from the Feather River Hospital during the Camp Fire on Nov. 8, 2018 in Paradise, California. People in 128 countries have experienced an increased exposure to wildfires, a new Lancet report finds. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The climate crisis already has a death toll, and it will get worse if we don't act to reduce emissions.

Read More Show Less