Updated: Nov 10, 2020
Bell Covers? Yep - masks for your bell. One recent study from the University of Minnesota showed that wind instruments can be a source of aerosol production leading to the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The amount and spread of that aerosol is dependent on the instrument. For example, there is less spread from an instrument like the tuba and more from a trumpet.
How much risk are talking about? Some researchers believe the risk is above that of the nonzero background risk. Others speculate that it is equal to the background risk. However, there is not a lot of data to provide definitive answers. What I do think we have is a warning to proceed cautiously.
This cautious approach does not need to be difficult. Recommendations have been made for the mitigation of aerosol spread through the use of bell covers. These covers can be purchased, but for those that are even a little crafty, they are easy to DIY. One can find several tutorials on no-sew bell covers from various websites. I've included a picture from a Reddit thread on a DIY cover as an example. Even a folded t-shirt attached with a rubber band can provide protection against aerosol dispersal.
I'm asking all pep band members to either purchase or make a bell cover. It doesn't need to be fancy, and it doesn't have to look perfect. It just needs to do the job of minimizing the risk of virus transmission. We want to do everything we can to stay safe and healthy while doing what we love, and I think bell covers are a responsible, easy solution to this problem.