Dissecting Clubcommission Berlin’s Pilot Project

Opening up Berlin clubs too early is irresponsible and plays into the hands of the right-wing “Querdenker”


This weekend Clubcommission is hosting a pilot indoor-event project with no-masks-required at full capacity. Parties from Friday, 6 August 22.00 – Sunday, 8 August 12.00 with up to 2,000 ticket-buyers will be able to travel between six clubs with no distancing requirements at venues.

The “PCR testing will take place at 3 mobile stations, which will be set up especially for the event and will be operated from Friday 6.8.2021 14.00 to 20.00 hrs.” For the testing there will be no distinction between vaccinated or unvaccinated people.

Tickets for the club night can be booked in advance via a ticket webshop for 15 euros plus a 10 euro “deposit”, which will be paid out after the event giving another test.

So we have 2000 people travelling between indoor venues across Berlin whilst partying in a socially, non-distanced environment without masks. Exposure to infections can happen at the event and outside of the event environment after the negative tested group has been selected.

A test after the event (on the 13. August – which is 5 days after the event) is not mandatory, so it’s not guaranteed that the team will detect infections or asymptomatic people.

From the FAQs:

“Any positive SARS-CoV-2 cases that occur in visitors after the event can be tracked and narrowed down to the time (and place) of infection (including the unlikely occurrence of infection during the event).”

Clubcomission even admits the “unlikely occurrence of infection during the event”. Unlikely is not scientific qualification to specify a safe environment which has the risk of superspreading a highly contagious virus.

How can this be a safe environment and how should infections be tracked down in time? What are people allowed to do after the event or between venues? The risk doesn’t just stop on Sunday afternoon when the party ends. The “safe environment of the cohort” cannot be guaranteed long enough to guarantee the safety of the participants and their surroundings.

Current infections in Berlin

Recent data even shows that Vaccinated People with Breakthrough Infections Can Spread The Delta Variant according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“High viral loads suggest an increased risk of transmission and raised concern that, unlike with other variants, vaccinated people infected with Delta can transmit the virus,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC’s director, said in a statement Friday.

How safe is this “pilot project”?

Below I will be referring to different studies of PCR false negative tests and all their conclusions.

False negative rate of COVID-19 PCR testing: a discordant testing analysis

“Studies to understand the FNR of routinely used assays are important to confirm adequate clinical performance. In this study, most FN results were due to low amounts of SARS-CoV-2 virus concentrations in patients with multiple specimens collected during different stages of infection. Post-test clinical evaluation of each patient is advised to ensure that rtRT-PCR results are not the only factor in excluding COVID-19.

Estimating the false-negative test probability of SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR

“In conclusion, we demonstrate how the sensitivity of the RT-PCR assay for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection depends on the time from symptom onset in symptomatic individuals, and show how nasopharyngeal swabs appear more sensitive than oropharyngeal swabs. In the absence of other testing procedures, this dependence on time since onset has implications for clinical decisions about treatment, and control / contact tracing decisions about who needs to be quarantined or can be released safely into the community. We also illustrate how, assuming that the false-positive test probability is negligible, the positive test count underestimates the number of infected individuals count in a cohort of tested individuals, which in turn has implications for estimates of case and infection fatality rates in the wider population.”

False negative: How long does it take for coronavirus to become detectable by PCR?

“Another study estimated that the probability of an infected person falsely testing negative on the day they contracted the virus was 100%, falling to 67% by day four of the infection. If they took a test on day five, the typical day people develop symptoms, the chance of a false negative result was 38%, dropping to 20% three days after the onset of symptoms (or day eight since exposure).”