Scientists open arena for dance party to study COVID-19 exposure risk

Pent-up clubgoers descended on Amsterdam's Ziggo Dome on Sturday for a dance party enabling scientists to study how large events could be held as COVID-19 begins to subside. Around 1,300 people—all who tested negative for COVID-19—hit the dancefloor wearing electronic tags to track their interactions. Working on behalf of the government, the researchers from Fieldlab assigned attendees to different groups that followed specific combinations of rules, like wearing a mask all the time, not wearing a mask, keeping a 1.5 meter distance from others, etc. From The Guardian:

One group was given a fluorescent drink and encouraged to sing and scream to the music in order to examine how much saliva was released at moments of peak revelry.

Government advisers will use the data they collect on the behaviour recorded to help make decisions on possibly easing the restrictions on night life in the coming months. One of the observations, organisers said, was that even those asked to keep their masks on soon dispensed with them as they got into the flow of the music.

image (not of Ziggo Dome): crop of photo by Malagalabombonera (CC BY-SA 4.0)