According to a study by the Catalan Ministry of Health, major music festivals have increased the number of coronavirus cases in Catalonia.
Research found that 2,279 visitors to the Vida, Canet Rock and Cruïlla festivals were infected with the virus in the past month, a number that is 76% more than the cases registered in a trial group and 58% more than expected, according to the analysis. This all happened despite the fact that participants presented a negative coronavirus test result and had to wear a mask at all times. (Photos from all three events showed that not all obeyed the mask rule.)
Catalan Health Minister Carme Cabezas said last week that music events “had an impact” on coronavirus transmission in Catalonia but added: “With 842 more cases than expected, we cannot say they were superspreader events.”
Particular attention was paid to the impact of these three events on coronavirus rates in the Catalonia region when they happened early last month, at a time when the region was beginning to grapple with another wave of COVID-19 and transmission rates The achievement of high risk levels increased again. Almost 50,000 people attended the three events.
When the Canet Rock and Vida festivals took place between June 30 and July 4, the 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants was 689 and the R number – how many other people an infected person passes the virus on to – was with it 2.92 significantly more than the recommendation of less than 1 by the local health authorities.
When the Cruïlla music festival took place on the 10th and 11th, the R number had dropped slightly to 1.37, which means that for every 100 infected another 137 would get the virus. However, the incidence rate remained high, at more than 1,000 cases per 100,000.
Catalan officials have reintroduced some restrictions on events since last month’s festivals due to rising R numbers and cases.
This news follows last month’s revelation that a Dutch music festival has been linked to more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases, although local officials at the time stressed that they could not be certain that all of these new infections occurred at the festival itself .