To Test Spread of Coronavirus, Scientists Put on a Concert

August 27, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified August 28, 2020

This article by The New York Times describes a unique concert put on in Germany that involved an elaborate study of volunteers by a team at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg called Restart 19. Each attendee, outfitted with a digital location tracker and hand disinfectant laced with fluorescent dye, were carefully positioned on seats as part of one of the first experiments by scientists to track the risks of coronavirus infection posed by large, indoor events.

Researchers hope to use their results to determine which elements of events like this pose the greatest risk for transmission and help create guidelines for limiting such dangers and safely restarting live performances around the world. Philipp Franke, a manager of the arena hosting the study, hoped that the study’s results would allow politicians to make informed decisions about resuming concerts and indoor sports. “Cultural events are socially important,” he added. “A society needs such events in order to find some fulfillment and an outlet.”

The results from the study are expected be ready in early October, and the findings likely could be applied to similar events and venues around the world.

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