As the Province of Ontario and the Middlesex-London region continue to experience persistent cases of COVID-19, we at the LMA want to help our local musicians reduce the risk of being exposed to or possibly transmitting this virus during performances. With this in mind, we have collected the following recommendations from a variety of academic studies and government resources to help keep you safe during future performances. Though perhaps not every recommendation can be instituted at every performance, implementing as many of these strategies as possible can certainly lower the risk of infection. This information is subject to change. For the latest and most accurate information, please check directly with the government and Middlesex-London Health Unit sites. Stay safe.
Recommendations for Vocalists & Wind Musicians
International Coalition Performing Arts Aerosol Study
Some of the key takeaways include:
- A 60-90% overall reduction of aerosol emissions when both surgical masks with a slit AND bell covers are used (for wind musicians) and the use of a 3-layer surgical style mask is used for vocalists.
- Social distancing of 6×6 feet (with 9×6 feet for trombone).
- Limiting indoor performances to 30-minutes followed by a minimum of one air exchange rate (preferably 3 exchanges).
- Hygiene practices such as hand washing, use of sanitizers, and preventing uncontrolled spit valve release (consider the use of a puppy pad or disposable sponge).
American Federation of Musicians: Returning to Work Safely
This document provides guidelines for musicians working in small venues, studios, and rehearsal spaces. Both general and specific recommendations are provided for each performance scenario.
- Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (Public Health Ontario). COVID-19 Transmission Risks from Singing and Playing Wind Instruments – What We Know So Far. Toronto, ON: Queen’s Printer for Ontario; 2020
This document summarizes the key findings of research that examine the transmission risks from singing and wind instrument playing. It includes an excellent reference list for further reading.
Regulations from the Government of Ontario
At the beginning of the pandemic, the Ontario government introduced The Reopening Ontario Act 2020, Ontario Regulation 364/20. Since then, however, there have been many updates and changes to the original regulations.
In February of 2021, the Ontario government released a new, second colour-coded framework for the above regulations. This website should contain the most up to date requirements:
Regulations from the Middlesex-London Health Unit
Under the Health Promotion and Protection Act, our local health unit is empowered to make further regulations to respond to local issues. They have posted guidelines on their website. These regulations may be updated at any time, so it is important to check with the health unit regularly.
Guidance for working musicians
As working musicians, we are required to assess our safety and the safety of others when we perform. Your first question should always be: Are the risks worth it?
Should you decide to continue, please use of the above websites, in conjunction with the London Musicians Association Facebook Page, to determine what is allowed and what is required.