German scientists will be conducting a research experiment called Restart-19, to see how COVID-19 spreads in a concert environment and examine a way to restart the concert industry. These studies will be conducted at an indoor stadium in the city of Leipzig, where singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko is scheduled to perform for a crowd of 4,0000 research volunteers.
Volunteers will be asked to sanitize their hands with fluorescent hand sanitizer, to add protection and provide scientists with the ability to scour the venue with UV lights, to see how the virus spreads. Vapor from fog machines will also be used to help visualize the spread of COVID-19 via aerosols.
Each volunteer will also be given a filtered N95 mask, which have recently been discouraged, by some health care professionals. According to Hartford Healthcare, an affiliate of the Hartford Hospital in Connecticut, the mask offers the same amount of protection to the wearer whether or not it has a filter valve, but it does not contain the spread of the virus from the wearer. The group explains that these masks are not allowed in a sanitary healthcare setting, but they’re usually preferred for jobs that may result in the creation of a lot of dust.
Each volunteer will also be given a DIY test kit, which will be turned into a lab to test for COVID-19 48 hours before the event. The first event is to test a crowd that would have a turn out during a pre-COVID-19 time with attendees coming in through two entrances, while the second one will have each seat blocked and require attendees to come in through eight different entrances. The final study will require each attendee to be 1.5 meters away from each other and will only have 2,000 people out of a 12,000 capacity.
“We are trying to find out if there could be a middle way between the old and the new normal that would allow organizers to fit enough people into a concert venue to not make a loss,” Stefan Moritz, the head of clinical infectious diseases at the University hospital in Halle and the experiment’s coordinator stated.
Photo Credit: Owen Ela