Consolidated COVID-19 Conclusions/Mitigation Guidelines
Summarized from 2 Studies on Aerosols Cited Below

As of November 15, 2021 summary of guidance from the studies presented below.
For more detailed and up to date information refer back to the original studies (NFHSA/UC Boulder/UMD and CSU).

CSU Study Paper published on November 9, 2021

  • Respiratory Aerosol Emissions from Vocalization: Age and Sex Differences Are Explained by Volume and Exhaled CO2
    Nicholas Good, Kristen M. Fedak, Dan Goble, Amy Keisling, Christian L’Orange, Emily Morton, Rebecca Phillips, Ky Tanner, and John Volckens*
    Environmental Science and Technology Letters, November 9, 2021 https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.1c00760

NFHSA shared link "It's OK to Play Music - Helpful Infographic (November 8th)"

Website: https://www.nfhs.org/articles/unprecedented-international-coalition-led-by-performing-arts-organizations-to-commission-covid-19-study

NFHSA shared link to published paper about research study on August 31st.

Website: https://www.nfhs.org/articles/unprecedented-international-coalition-led-by-performing-arts-organizations-to-commission-covid-19-study

NFHSA A Conversation on Mitigations for Fall 2021 (Speech, Debate, Theatre, Music, and more!) (August 27, 2021):

Website: https://www.nfhs.org/articles/unprecedented-international-coalition-led-by-performing-arts-organizations-to-commission-covid-19-study

  • Video of conversation with Dr. James Weaver (NFHS), Dr. Mark Spede (CBDNA/Clemson), and Bob Morrison (Arts Ed New Jersey) about current mitigations and recommendations for various music, speech, debate, and theatre activities. Based on July 16th report noted below.  
  • Direct YouTube Link:  https://youtu.be/1seuGKnKHb0   

 

NFHSA Updated Guidelines for Fall 2021 Activities (July 16,2021):

  • From introduction: "Importance will need to be placed on local and state respiratory disease transmission rates for use of mitigations."
  • Outdoors: Outdoors remains the safest space - No mitigations needed depending on the level of local and state transmission rates.
  • Indoors: Indoor environments vary greatly
    • Masks. Masking with appropriate material* remains the best way of reducing potential infected aerosol from circulating in an indoor space. Masks are recommended be worn while singing and speaking.
    • Bell Covers. Bell covers made from appropriate material* remain the best way of reducing potential infected aerosol from circulating in an indoor space. Depending on your comfort level, instrumentalists can wear masks only when speaking and slitted performance masks are optional.
    • Rehearsal Times. In spaces with good ventilation rates and HEPA filtration, increased indoor rehearsal times of 50 minutes may be considered. A minimum of 3 air exchanges per hour should be used, if there are spaces with higher air change rates, you may consider longer rehearsal times.
    • Physical Distancing. Distancing may be decreased to 3 feet, adjusting farther or closer depending on local conditions.
    • Hygiene. Continue good hygiene practice moving forward, including appropriate elimination of brass fluid.
    • Face Shields and Partitions. Plastic face shields only stop large droplets, not aerosol; room dividers inhibit the function of the HVAC system and are not recommended.
*Material should consist of MERV13 material or ASTM F2100 (or similar) standard.

CBDNA/NFHS COVID-19 Video, 20 April 21: "COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies for Music"

Found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u46GJAnpZ7k

 

From scientific preprint of the research paper: "Measurements and Simulations of Aerosol Released while Singing and Playing Wind Instruments" -  April 13, 2021 

  Recommendations

  • Masks and Bell Covers- Well fitting masks for singers and musical instruments - were found to be effective at “decreasing aerosol and larger droplet emissions” from musical performance. 
    • A note on bell covers for woodwind instruments They found that air and particles do escape from keyholes but found the number of “particles was minimal” and that using a “bell cover eliminated a majority of the aerosol coming from the instrument.”  Due to the difficulty in playing a woodwind instrument in a bag, they “recommend bell covers as the main control measure for woodwind instruments.”
    • A note on material for bell covers- “Standard 3-layer surgical masks were used for small instruments, such as woodwinds. Large instruments were tested with Merv-13 material inside of a nylon spandex material.”  They do not recommend bell covers made from  a “stretchy material such as spandex” as it is easy for aerosol to pass through.
  • Face Shields-  are “only effective at close range to stop large droplets”  and “do not prevent aerosol from being emitted or inhaled.”  
  • Plexiglass/Plastic/Glass Barriers are Not Recommended- read the report for explanation of why these measures were found not to be effective.
  • Social Distancing Recommended - “Performers should follow social distancing protocols as recommended by the CDC for music activities. Aerosol concentrations are highest closest to the source, both inside and outside, and decrease with distance.”
  • Rehearsal Space Preference Order- they recommend that performances/rehearsals happen outdoors, if not possible then they have provided recommendations for indoor venues.
      1. Outdoors

      2. Indoors with elevated outdoor air exchange rate from HVAC
      3. Indoors with typical outdoor air exchange rate from HVAC plus recirculation air through MERV 13 filters or addition of appropriately sized HEPA air cleaners
      4. Indoors with outdoor air exchange rate from open windows supplemented with appropriately sized HEPA air cleaners when airflow is reduced under certain outdoor wind conditions.
  • Limiting Rehearsal Time- for indoor rehearsals  they recommend “having at least three air changes per hour in the rehearsal room and limiting rehearsal time to 30 minutes at a time before leaving the room for at least one air change.”
  • HEPA Air Cleaners to Supplement Ventilation- For indoor spaces, they recommend  HEPA air cleaners.  

From Colorado State University Study  “Reducing Bioaerosol Emissions and Exposures in the Performing Arts: A Scientific Roadmap for a Safe Return from COVID19”  December 2, 2020 update and May 21, 2021 update

 Recommendations/Findings from Round 2

  • Some instruments produce more aerosols than others
  • “Bioaerosol emissions can vary massively from one person to the next.”
  • “Masks and bell covers appear to be effective.”

 Recommendations/Findings from Round 3

slide 36:

  • "Results suggest that brass instruments tend to have higher particle emissions than woodwinds…BUT the “player effect” is likely larger than the ”instrument effect"... Meaning that almost ALL instruments have the potential for high emissions."
  • "Bell covers on brass instruments (single air exit) make sense."
  • "Bell covers on woodwinds (multiple exit paths for air besides the bell) show mixed results."

slide 48:

  • We still do not know (as a scientific community) how many COVID19 virions it takes to produce an infection in humans.
  • Although we cannot define absolute risk, we can define relative risk. Look for continued guidance from our group and others in the coming months.
  • Get vaccinated!

Video of NASM Webinar presented by Dr. Volckens which took place on May 20, 2021: https://nasm.arts-accredit.org/leadership/informed-decision-making/#bioaerosol

 

From the  CBDNA/NFHS 3rd Release of Preliminary Results November 13th

5 take aways

 

infographic

 also published separately at: https://www.nfhs.org/media/4119362/artsed_safeschool_nfhs_infograph.png

 

Website Citations:

Spede, Mark, et al. “Unprecedented International Coalition Led by Performing Arts Organizations to Commission COVID-19 Study.” NFHS, National Federation of High School State Associations, 28 Apr. 2021, 11:00 am, www.nfhs.org/articles/unprecedented-international-coalition-led-by-performing-arts-organizations-to-commission-covid-19-study. 

Spede, Mark, and James Weaver. “COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies for Music.” YouTube, NFHS, National Federation of High School State Associations, 20 Apr. 2021, www.youtube.com/watch?v=u46GJAnpZ7k. 

Spede, Mark, et al. “Unprecedented International Coalition Led by Performing Arts Organizations to Commission COVID-19 Study.” NFHS, National Federation of High School State Associations, 22 Jul. 2021, 2:00 pm, www.nfhs.org/articles/unprecedented-international-coalition-led-by-performing-arts-organizations-to-commission-covid-19-study. 

Spede, Mark, et al. “Unprecedented International Coalition Led by Performing Arts Organizations to Commission COVID-19 Study.” NFHS, National Federation of High School State Associations, 31 Aug. 2021, 7:20 am, www.nfhs.org/articles/unprecedented-international-coalition-led-by-performing-arts-organizations-to-commission-covid-19-study. 

Spede, Mark, et al. “Unprecedented International Coalition Led by Performing Arts Organizations to Commission COVID-19 Study.” NFHS, National Federation of High School State Associations, 15 Sept. 2021, 9:39 am, www.nfhs.org/articles/unprecedented-international-coalition-led-by-performing-arts-organizations-to-commission-covid-19-study. 

Volckens, John, et al. “Reducing Bioaerosol Emissions and Exposures in the Performing Arts - School of Music, Theatre and Dance.” School of Music Theatre and Dance, Colorado State University, 28 Apr. 2021, 12pm, smtd.colostate.edu/reducing-bioaerosol-emissions-and-exposures-in-the-performing-arts/. 

Volckens, John, et al. “Reducing Bioaerosol Emissions and Exposures in the Performing Arts - School of Music, Theatre and Dance.” School of Music Theatre and Dance, Colorado State University, 2 June. 2021, 3pm, smtd.colostate.edu/reducing-bioaerosol-emissions-and-exposures-in-the-performing-arts/. 

Volckens, John, and Daniel Goble. “BIOAEROSOL EMISSIONS IN THE PERFORMING ARTS – REDUCING EMISSIONS AND EXPOSURES: A MULTI-PART SERIES (PART THREE).” LEADERSHIP: NAVIGATING DIFFICULT SITUATIONS AND CONDITIONS, National Association of Schools of Music, 3 June 2021, 10:30, nasm.arts-accredit.org/leadership/informed-decision-making/#bioaerosol. 

August 31, 2021