This page was last updated on 12 January 2022
Comments and ideas welcome - email email@example.com with 'Covid-19' in the subject line
What's on this page:
- Current restrictions
- COVID-19 Risk Assessment Aids for Choirs (and Bands**)
- Other guidance
- Advocate for community music
The Victorian Goverment's Coronavirus: how we live website is your authoritative, one-stop source of information regarding the latest restrictions, requirements and recommendations. It is important to check the page frequently as there are regular updates.
The table below (available here as a printable pdf) ranks practices in terms of the risk of COVID spread during a choir or band session. While the specifics in the table are mostly common sense, they are also consistent with results published in El Pais which were derived from this freeware modelling software.
For a more detailed understanding of Risk Management principles as they apply to community bands and choirs see our guide: Brief Introduction to Risk Management for Community Music Leaders.
"Any activity where people may expel a lot of air and possibly fine droplets of saliva, such as coughing, sneezing, singing or playing a wind instrument, has the potential to spread COVID-19. In this way, singing and playing certain instruments may be comparable to coughing. When people do these things in groups, the likelihood of the virus being present and spread is increased. The design of wind instruments, which includes flutes, clarinets, recorders, oboes and bassoons, has the potential to allow droplets to be expelled into the air. In the case of brass instruments such as trumpets, trombones and French horns, the droplets may be more likely to remain inside the instrument. While we are not aware of an outbreak associated with playing wind instruments, there have been outbreaks associated with choirs and group singing."(source: https://bandnsw.com/covid-19-coronavirus-statement/)
As restrictions ease and we are able to congregate in small numbers, it is important that all community music activities adhere to the Victorian Government COVID Safe guidelines at every step towards Covid Recovery and anyone who answers “yes” to any of the following questions should not attend a community music group:
Health screening questionnaire:
- Do you have any cold, flu or fever symptoms?
- Have you returned from overseas in the past 2 weeks?
- Have been in contact with anyone with Covid-19?
- Are you awaiting test results for Covid-19?
- Have you visited a Covid restricted area within the last 2 weeks?
In addition to this:
- Hand sanitising should be available
- Proper sanitising and cleaning should be done before, during and after sessions.
- Record keeping should be maintained
We strongly encourage you to advocate for community music by sending a message to DHHS, thanking them for the advice issued so far, and requesting that they regularly keep arts and entertainment advice up to date as things change. Community music is a vital pathway for the wellbeing of many communities, and so it's essential that professional health care workers regularly review what's safe for singers and instrumentalists who want to meet together for social contact and fun.
You can do this through their website here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/website-feedback