Maja Lazović, Veselin Bojat, Vladimir Vuković, Nina Smiljanić, Marija Milić, Radmila Velicki, Nataša Nikolić, Tatjana Pustahija, Mioljub Ristić

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Many countries have resumed mass gathering events like music festivals, despite potential risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmissions. This study aimed to examine the frequency of SARS-CoV-2 infection among visitors to a mass event, the EXIT festival, in relation to the proposed preventive measures. A total of 466 visitors were included in this longitudinal study conducted in Novi Sad, Serbia, during July, 2021. All subjects were tested with RDT-Ag test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus at the beginning of the study and seven days after. Basic socio-demographic and epidemiological data were collected through a questionnaire. The average age of participants was 28.34 ± 8.87 years with the majority of men (53.7%). There were 170 (36.5%) vaccinated participants. A 97.1% in vaccinated and 92.2% in unvaccinated group, reported to regularly wear a protective mask (p=0.029). At the second cross-sectional testing, 354 subjects were tested, of which 150 (42.4%) were vaccinated. There was no statistically significant difference in application of preventive measures during and after the festival, in respect to vaccination status of the participants. Twenty participants (5.6%) reported some of the COVID-19-like symptoms in the first seven days after visiting the festival, but no COVID-19 infection was confirmed at the RDT-Ag testing. Despite the potential effectiveness of applied preventive measures such as RDT-Ag screening, mask-wearing and vaccination, additional caution is needed when holding these events during a period of high SARS-CoV-2 transmission, as well as when the new virus variants emerge in community.


COVID-19, preventive measures, RDT-Ag testing, mass event, EXIT festival

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