Monday, May 03, 2021

Even if all your singers are vaccinated, there are still risks

There has been some talk of insisting that singers are vaccinated before they can attend choir.

Not only is this problematic, but even if all your singers are vaccinated, there are still risks involved.

Here in the UK, it is not yet possible for choirs to meet and rehearse indoors.

However, many choir leaders and singers are looking forward to later in the year when legal restrictions should be lifted. This will allow both outdoor and indoor rehearsals with no restrictions on numbers.

How can you make sure that it’s as safe as possible for singers when choirs are able to start up again?

Just because you’ve been fully vaccinated doesn’t mean that singing together is risk-free.

no vaccination = no choir?

Some choir leaders have been discussing the option of requiring all their singers to be fully vaccinated before they are allowed to sing with the choir.

There are several problems with this approach:   

  • What about those singers who have not yet been offered a vaccine?
  • You can’t insist that a person gives you their private medical information.
  • What about those singers who are not able to be vaccinated due to health issues?
  • How about people who’ve only had one vaccination?
  • There may well be some people who say they’ve been vaccinated, but haven’t been.

Whichever way you look at it, this approach will result in excluding some of your singers.

And even if this were possible …

full vaccination doesn’t remove all the risks

There was a recent article in The Guardian which looked at what risks are still present even after you’ve been fully vaccinated: So you’ve had your Covid jab. What can you safely do now?

The article pulled in information from UK scientists and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): When you’ve been fully vaccinated.

The important takeaways for choirs and singing groups are:

  • Don’t assume you’re protected until you’ve received both doses – full vaccination occurs two weeks after your second dose.
  • Even once you’ve had two doses, you’re not invincible – the vaccines reduce the severity of symptoms and the chance of hospitalisation, but you can still catch Covid and transmit it to others. And the more that people mingle, the greater the chance of passing on new variants of the virus, which could render the vaccines less effective.
  • For indoor public gatherings, physical distancing and masks are still essential – when you are allowed to gather indoors, although vaccinations reduce the level of virus transmission, it doesn’t completely eliminate it. The key for indoor rehearsals is to have adequate ventilation.
  • Outdoors is still safest, but wear a mask if it’s busy – singing outdoors is much safer than singing indoors, but is still not 100% safe. As long as you have reasonable distance between singers, you should be OK, but if you’re in an extremely crowded situation, like a festival or performance, then it’s safer to wear a mask.

Stay safe everyone, and let’s look forward to happier, singing together times.


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Chris Rowbury




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