our CO2 experiment in infection control
We have done very well since our return to indoor, in person singing in that I have only heard of one couple being infected with Covid 19 and that was contracted over our half term break (so not at choir). It makes me feel that our vaccinations, testing, large airy rooms and other precautions are working well keeping us safe whilst we are having such fun singing.
I wanted more evidence that I am organising something which is as safe as it can be and after reading about another leader experimenting with a CO2 monitor I got my own.
The premise is that CO2 in the atmosphere of a venue acts as a proxy for aerosol dispersion of Covid-19 particles because of the way it behaves in air flow. The worldwide average concentration in fresh air is around 400ppm and the DoE is looking for concentrations of less than 800ppm in schools for safety.
This last week I tried out the monitor and this is what I found.
At home- outside reading 400ppm. Then in our dining room with 2 of us for the evening with no windows open around 570ppm
Marple in the upstairs hall, 3 windows open and 18 singers for 1.5hrs 450ppm. We closed one window for a time and it went up to around 550 .Interesting!
ELSS at Padiham Unitarian Church. This is a very big hall and we have the door open in one corner and the kitchen extractor fan going in another. I was a bit concerned that the far side of the room would be less well ventilated and placed the monitor there. But no! even with 27 singers going full belt the monitor didn’t get up to 500ppm.
Todmorden, Fielden Centre. Here we had 16 singers and just the main door open and the reading was the same as outside. I thought the device was broken and so breathed into it to check whereupon it shot up to 1500 or so, so it was definitely working
This has given me great confidence and peace of mind and I hope it will do the same for you, especially if you have been a bit ‘on the fence’ about coming back to choir.