Measurements and Simulations of Aerosol Released while Singing and Playing Wind Instruments Public Deposited
Outbreaks from choir performances, such as the Skagit Valley Choir, showed that singing bringspotential risk of COVID-19 infection. There is less known about the risks of airborne infectionfrom other musical performance, such as playing wind instruments or performing theatre. Inaddition, it is important to understand methods that can be used to reduce infection risk. In thisstudy, we used a variety of methods, including flow visualization, aerosol and CO₂ measurements,and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling to understand the different components that canlead to transmission risk from musical performance and risk mitigation. This study was possiblebecause of a partnership across academic departments and institutions and collaboration with theNational Federation of State High School Associations and the College Band Directors NationalAssociation. The interdisciplinary team enabled us to understand the various aspects of aerosoltransmission risk from musical performance, and quickly implement strategies in music classroomsduring the COVID-19 pandemic. We found that plumes from musical performance were highlydirectional, unsteady, and vary considerably in time and space. Aerosol number concentration measured at the bell of the clarinet were comparable to singing. Face and bellmasks attenuated plume velocities and lengths and decreased aerosol concentrations measured infront of the masks. CFD modeling showed differences between indoor and outdoor environments andthat lowest risk of airborne COVID-19 infection occurred at less than 30 minutes of exposureindoors and less than 60 minutes outdoors.
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