NSW Health has released advice that playing wind instruments in a group should be avoided to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. In posts on its social media channels, the department said: “Wind instruments like saxophones, clarinets, flutes and recorders can spread COVID-19 if someone is infected. For now, they shouldn’t be played near other people. And musicians playing other instruments should stay 1.5 metres away from each other and the audience.”

Saxophone Image © Sally V, published under the  Creative Commons  Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 Internationallicense.

The reasoning behind the advice, which has generated much discussion in the music community online, is elaborated in NSW Health’s COVID-19 FAQs. “NSW Health recommends at this time that playing wind instruments (such as flute, oboe or clarinet) in a group be avoided. This is because of the increased chance of spreading COVID-19 through airborne aerosols. Musicians playing other instruments should stay 1.5 metres away from each other.”

“Any activity where people may expel a lot of air and possibly fine droplets of...

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