How can virus infections be prevented through the air at events? This is what scientists from central Germany want to investigate in the "Restart 2.0" project with practical measurements.
The puppet theater in Halle is open only for research. Measurements will be taken here for two days. During a short break, study leader Stefan Moritz from Halle University Hospital explains the project: "We are doing our first trial of Restart-2.0 today. After all, one of the main results of Restart-19 was that ventilation plays a decisive role in whether events can be held safely or not."
Different seating arrangements are measured out
Restart-19 was a major research project in the fall of 2020 to test conditions at the Arena in Leipzig, Germany, under which events could be made safe enough to prevent people from infecting each other with Sars-CoV-2 in the process. What remained open, however, was what constitutes good ventilation and what factors are important in the room. That is now to be made up for with new measurements.
"We are measuring about ten different scenarios," says Moritz. To do this, the seats in the room are repeatedly arranged differently to get different conditions. "But in addition to these measurements, we also run computer simulations, so we get multiple results."
Special measuring devices make aerosol flow measurable
Unlike Restart-19, there are no humans in the audience at Restart 2.0. Instead, there are dummies, prepared mannequins. They breathe in aerosols that flow out of a device in the front, in the second row. Everything is done under clearly defined study conditions so that the results can be used. To this end, the researchers are collaborating with the Charité hospital in Berlin. The special measuring device was developed there.
Ùmit Hasirci, a research associate at Charité, explains, "We want to determine exactly which aerosol quantity arrives at different positions in which scenarios and what the efficiency of ventilation and filters is and so on."
After the puppet theater in Halle, the researchers are taking a close look at nine more venues. Five in Berlin, one in Leipzig, four in Halle. "Finally, we'll see how we can develop a uniform evaluation system for the future," Moritz says.
Puppet theater wants to play in front of an audience again soon
To know which ventilation systems need to be installed in which rooms, or whether the existing ones are sufficient. Uta van den Broek, the managing director of Theater Halle, wants the study to soon make it possible to put on performances like they did before Corona. "We need our audience so much and theater is a very big promise. It can only deliver on that in analog form and we need our resonant spaces, we need to be allowed to pass on emotions, it needs to go on soon!"
The study results should be available by the end of the year.
Full article on the mdr website
Experimental Fluid MechanicsCharité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Postal address:Augustenburger Platz 113353 Berlin
Campus / internal address:Forum 4, EG, Raum 0.0568
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