Masks and limiting numbers are important, but good ventilation technology is the most essential ingredient for decreasing the risk of coronavirus spread in indoor events, according to a German study.
Researchers say the study’s results also have implications for containing the epidemic among the population as a whole.
About 1,500 volunteers with masks, antiseptic gel and proximity trackers attended an indoor pop show in Leipzig in August to see how the virus spreads in large crowds.
The researchers simulated three situations with varying numbers of viewers and patterns of social distance, and created a computer model of the arena to analyze the aerosol flow of potential infected viewers.
“The most important discovery was to understand how crucial it is to have good ventilation technology. This is essential to lower the risk of infection,” said Stefan Moritz, leader of the Restart-19 study at the University of Halle School of Medicine.
The study also found that reducing the capacity of a public place, having multiple entrances to an arena and seating spectators can have a major impact on the number of contacts people accumulate.
Its recommendations include only allowing the consumption of food on chairs, outdoor waiting areas, wearing masks for the duration of the show and employing inspectors to make people comply with hygiene rules.
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