Fortius supports the fight against Covid-19 with singing!

Fortius Clinic has been very proud to support the groundbreaking research to help tackle Coronavirus, particularly for those within the music industry, examining the risks of Covid-19 from singing and wind/brass playing.

 

Professor James Calder, Fortius Consultant, chairs the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport funding the study which is also sponsored by Public Health England, and also sits on the DCMS Entertainment and Events Working Group as a clinical advisor.

 

As a clinic, we were able to contribute the use of our laminar flow theatres for the research team to conduct their experiments.

Specialist theatres

Due to the laminar flow within our theatres, the airborne particulates are reduced by generating a continuous flow of clean, highly-filtered air. The air within our theatres may be changed more than 300 times per hour, compared to standard theatres where the air is changed much less frequently, making it the perfect place for the experiment.

The team are looking into the amount of aerosol and droplets generated by the musicians to establish whether singing and wind/brass playing are more aerosol-generating than breathing, speaking or shouting. 

Musicians from the BBC Singers, English National Opera and Royal Opera House Orchestra all donned scrubs as well as other PPE, and took up position! 

The return of live music

The experiments were carried out over two weeks, and are a partnership between the aerosol team from Bristol University (led by Prof Jonathan Reid), Imperial College London and the Royal Brompton. Declan Costello and Natalie Watson (both ENT surgeons) are collaborators in the project.

The research has occurred at an unprecedented pace; the results are currently being analysed by the Bristol team, and a paper will be submitted to a scientific journal in the next few weeks.

The BBC reported "the teams' findings may inform future Government decisions around restrictions on live music-making." We'll hear more from James as the work goes on, find out more in this recent article by the Guardian here.