New research from Princeton University suggests that plexiglass barriers may not provide protection from COVID-19 for musicians.
While barriers do provide some protection, researchers say that they may also heighten risk in some instances. That’s because, while they prevent air flowing in to some extent, they also stop air moving out. Therefore, if you’re seated in the same section as someone with COVID, your exposure is much greater.
“If you’re on the other side of the barrier from someone, you are partially protected because the movement of the air is disrupted by the barrier,” commented lead researcher Howard Stone in an interview with NJ Advance Media.
“On the other hand, if you’re inside one of these barriers with someone, and they happen to be infected and you’re not aware of it, then you’re exposed even more to a higher concentration.”
Stone has been working on the issue since April. Project partners to date include the department of Aerospace Engineering at University of Central Florida and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
The research has yet to be peer reviewed and published.