The performing arts has been badly affected during the coronavirus pandemic with live musical performances cancelled because singing was identified as a potential “higher risk” activity. A new research project called PERFORM (ParticulatE Respiratory Matter to InForm Guidance for the Safe Distancing of PerfOrmeRs in a COVID-19 PandeMic) is the first study to look at the amounts of aerosols and droplets (up to 20 µm diameter) generated by a large group of 25 professional performers completing a range of exercises including breathing, speaking, coughing, and singing. The findings are crucial in providing COVID-19 guidance for live musical performances and the safe distancing of performers and audience.
Prof Jonathan Reid, Professor of physical chemistry, University of Bristol, Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Aerosol Science
Mr Declan Costello, Consultant ear nose and throat surgeon, Wexham park hospital
Dr Florence Gregson, Post-doctoral researcher and first author on study
This Briefing was accompanied by an SMC Roundup of Comments