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COVID-19 for the Ada Community

A guide to help the public research COVID-19 using reliable sources.

Is Singing Safe?

Is singing safe, and if not, when will it be safe again? 

This question was posed by a concerned community member, and the answer is unfortunately not a conclusive or straightforward one.

Research is currently underway around the world, which some of the below resources will describe, but is still in the developmental stages. We have included guidance from reputable singing organizations such as the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS). AdaSAFE is not taking a position of advisement for or against with these materials; it is providing materials to help community members make informed choices based on the research that has been done and what is known about the safety of singing during COVID-19 by the broader singing community. 

American Choral Directors Association (ACDA)

Guidance and Support for Choral Singing Options During the Pandemic

Material below sourced from this ACDA website: https://acda.org/advocacy/

American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) released guidance and a statement of support for choral singing and study during the COVID-19 pandemic on June 15. (Click here to download "The COVID-19 Response Committee Report.) The “COVID-19 Response Committee Report” was developed by a team of choral professionals from across the country, and with expertise and experience in choral education and conducting in a variety of choral settings including K-12 schools, colleges and universities, community choirs, and places of worship.

 
Webinar with ACDA President, Vice-President, and Committee Members

Monday, June 22, 2020: The webinar included ACDA President Lynne Gackle, ACDA Vice-President André Thomas, and the 13 Response Committee members. They summarized and discussed the report’s contents. Click here for the recording.

 
ACDA COVID-19 Response Committee

On June 4, ACDA’s Executive Committee announced the formation of a response committee to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its task was to create a document endeavoring to provide a strong, unequivocal statement of advocacy for choral music in our culture and choral musicians. Additionally, the document offers considerations and current parameters for ensembles, scenario planning with instructional and community-building models to guide our thinking, as well as resources that guide us in the direction of additional information in the near future and beyond. The ACDA COVID-19 Response Committee is representative of membership throughout our country and is representative of all regions of ACDA. Read full description and list of committee members here.

 

Read about COVID-19 scientific research that ACDA is helping to sponsor

Aerosol Generation from Playing Band Instruments, Singing, and Performing, and Risk of Infectious Disease Transmission
Purpose: The study will examine aerosol rates produced by wind instrumentalists, vocalists, and even actors, and how quickly those aerosol rates accumulate in a space. Final results are expected in late November or early December 2020.
Lead Researcher: Dr. L. Shelly Miller, University of Colorado.

Reducing Bioaerosol Emissions and Exposures in the Performing Arts: A Scientific Roadmap for a Safe Return from COVID-19
Objective: To reduce the risk of human exposure and co-infection to SARS-COV-2 aerosol during performing arts activities.
Team: Researchers with the Powerhouse Energy Campus at Colorado State University.

Resources for Choral Professionals During the Pandemic

Material below sourced from this ACDA website: https://acda.org/resources-for-choral-professionals-during-a-pandemic/

This ACDA webpage includes a wealth of information: "During this challenging time, we are seeing the creativity, ingenuity, and leadership of choral professionals as they create and share resources to help themselves and others respond proactively! This page is an attempt to collect many of these ideas and suggestions together." --ACDA Pandemic Resources

  • View all membership email updates and webinar summaries
  • Links to Articles for Inspiration
  • Online and Distance Learning Tools
  • Event Management
  • Technology Ideas
  • Complimentary Music
  • Suggestions for Virtual Choirs 
 
Featured Webinars:

Upcoming Webinar by ACDA, NATS, PAMA, Chorus America, and Barbershop Harmony Society
August 10, 2020 | 5:00 p.m. ET 

ACDA, NATS, PAMA, Chorus America, and Barbershop Harmony will present a joint Q&A-style webinar with study researchers on Monday, August 10, livestreamed on the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) YouTube channel. A recording of the event will be available shortly after the webinar.

August 6, 2020 Webinar by Aerosol Study Researchers
Link to recording on YouTube

International Coalition of Performing Arts Aerosol Study Round 2. This Aug. 6, 2020, webinar featured co-chairs of the study, Dr. James Weaver, NFHS Director of Performing Arts and Sports, and Dr. Mark Spede, CBDNA President, Director of Bands, Clemson University, as well as lead researchers and others.

Three-part webinar series, co-hosted by ACDA, the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Chorus America, Barbershop Harmony Society, and Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA), was done in May and July 2020. Recordings of those sessions are below.

  • What Do Science and Data Say About the Near-Term Future of Singing? May 5, 2020. Please note: ACDA did not make a statement coming out of this webinar. The goal of this webinar was to listen to leading scientists on the facts of the virus, allowing us to formulate potential next steps amidst much uncertainty.
  • Singing: What We CAN Do. May 26, 2020. Moderator: Brian Newhouse, Minnesota Public Radio. Watch the recording.
  • Copyright Guidance for Singing in a Virtual World. June 9, 2020. Moderator: Janice Bane, copyright & licensing manager at Barbershop Harmony Society. Watch the recording.
 
Featured Planning Tools:
  • COVID-19 Response Committee Report (Jun. 15, 2020, by the ACDA COVID-19 Response Committee)
  • Choral Music in the Time of COVID-19 (Jul. 3, 2020, by the Western ACDA Task for for Innovation). Western ACDA’s 90-person task force has produced folders of resources, as well as video discussion and how-to’s. They suggest reading the Introduction, reviewing the folder in your specific area, reviewing other folders of interest, then finish with the Technology Resources (including side-by-side comparisons of platforms and software. This collection of resources is being continually expanded and updated.
  • NH Music Education: Return to School 2020 (Jul. 31, 2020), by NH American Choral Directors Association, NH American Strings Teachers Association, NH Band Directors Association, and NH Music Educators Association.
  • COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool (by Georgie Tech College of Sciences). An interactive dashboard that estimates COVID-19 incidence at gatherings in the U.S. has added a new feature: the ability to calculate county-level risk of attending an event with someone actively infected with Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Planning for Your Choir in Uncertain Times – A Framework (by Canada’s Provincial Choral Organizations and Choral Canada members)
  • My Choral Coach: As mentioned in the column by Tim Sharp in the Washington Post and in the recent collaborative webinar, My Choral Coach is a simple guided practice and choral management system that will keep choirs engaged and reaching their goals during this time of physical distancing and isolation.

Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS)

COVID-19 Resources for Barbershoppers

 
Resources:

Resources for barbershop singers (relevant to all singers) can be found on this resource page: COVID-19 Resources for Barbershoppers

 
Webinar:

Science and the Near-Term Future of Singing Webinar: "“A marathon, not a sprint”: a panel of scientists and leading arts administrators are framing the conversation of what we’ll need to know to understand the implications of singing together."

Webinar video below, and additional webinar-related resources, sourced from this BHS website: https://www.barbershop.org/covid-webinar-summary

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

CDC report related to singing and COVID-19

"High SARS-CoV-2 Attack Rate Following Exposure at a Choir Practice — Skagit County, Washington, March 2020"
--CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 15, 2020

Click here to view the report in its entirety

The image and summary below, as well as additional information about this report, can be found on this CDC webpage

The figure shows representation of 52 people who became sick after exposure to one symptomatic person with text describing ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Image source: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6919e6.htm?s_cid=mm6919e6_w

Summary
  • What is already known about this topic? 
    Superspreading events involving SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, have been reported.
  • What is added by this report? 
    Following a 2.5-hour choir practice attended by 61 persons, including a symptomatic index patient, 32 confirmed and 20 probable secondary COVID-19 cases occurred (attack rate = 53.3% to 86.7%); three patients were hospitalized, and two died. Transmission was likely facilitated by close proximity (within 6 feet) during practice and augmented by the act of singing.
  • What are the implications for public health practice? 
    The potential for superspreader events underscores the importance of physical distancing, including avoiding gathering in large groups, to control spread of COVID-19. Enhancing community awareness can encourage symptomatic persons and contacts of ill persons to isolate or self-quarantine to prevent ongoing transmission.

Additional Articles Related to Singing and COVID-19

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