German scientists are planning to throw a concert to work out whether it's possible to hold large indoor events without spreading Covid-19. The concert would include fog machines, fluorescent hand sanitizer and contact-tracking devices.
Scientists from the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg are calling for 4,000 people to head to an indoor stadium in Leipzig to see German pop singer Tim Bendzko on August 22nd as part of a $1.1 million project called Restart-19.
The university's head of clinical infectious diseases, Stefan Moritz, who is coordinating the experiment, told The Guardian:
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.
Willing participants for Restart-19 must be ages 18 to 50 and test negative for the coronavirus 48 hours before the experiment. The participants, who will be all wearing masks, are expected to experience three concerts — one without social distancing, one with a slower entry and more focused on hygiene, and a final version in which participants will sit far enough away from one another to maintain social distancing.
Scientists plan to collect information by transmitting data every five seconds about where they are in the stadium using a wearable contact-tracing device.
Then they will use fluorescent hand sanitizer so scientists with UV lights will be able to see what surfaces have been touched.
Lastly, they are bringing in a fog machine to pump out fog meant to help visualize how the coronavirus could spread by aerosols.
The university's website says the risk of getting COVID-19 by attending the concert will be "very low," but it does not guarantee that it's risk-free.
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