Epidemiologic Evidence for Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during Church Singing, Australia 2020
A report published on the American ‘CDC’ webpage ‘Emerging Infectious Diseases’ has highlighted the likelihood that Covid-19 was transmitted through the air in a church service in Australia in July 2020.
The article provides a detailed account of 12 congregation members developing Covid-19 symptoms across four well-attended services where an infected choir member had sung at each service. The conical-shaped church did not have its air ventilation system in operation and doors were closed. In addition to this, no masks were worn.
That some of the infected were around 15 metres from the infected singer shows that the virus was passed through the air.
The encouraging response from the church, local media and the Western Sydney Public Health Unit meant that of the 508 attendees to all four services, 85% of those had received a test within 17 days after exposure.
Voice Doctor, Declan Costello commented on Twitter that: ‘singers are very well aware that the virus is airborne and they are practising very stringent precautionary measures to limit transmission. Volume of vocalisation is the key issue - not singing per se - frustrating that singing is still demonised.’
This is another clear reminder of the importance of implementing robust risk assessment and having mitigations in place as you make plans to return to live singing, whenever that may be.
Read the full report here: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/27/6/21-0465_article?ACSTrackingID=USCDC_333-DM54062&ACSTrackingLabel=Latest%20Expedited%20Articles%20-%20Emerging%20Infectious%20Diseases%20Journal%20-%20April%205%2C%202021&deliveryName=USCDC_333-DM54062