Epidemiologic Evidence for Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during Church Singing, Australia, 2020

Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Jun;27(6):1677-1680. doi: 10.3201/eid2706.210465. Epub 2021 Apr 5.


An outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection occurred among church attendees after an infectious chorister sang at multiple services. We detected 12 secondary case-patients. Video recordings of the services showed that case-patients were seated in the same section, up to 15 m from the primary case-patient, without close physical contact, suggesting airborne transmission.

Keywords: Australia; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; church singing; coronavirus disease; coronaviruses; disease outbreak; epidemiology; infectious disease transmission; presymptomatic; public health practice; respiratory infections; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; viruses; whole-genome sequencing; zoonoses.

MeSH terms

  • Australia / epidemiology
  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Singing*