Surfers are at elevated risk for coronavirus: expert
A surfer carries his board past sunbathers at Huntington Beach on September 10, 2015, amid a heat wave where temperatures have reached triple digits in parts of southern California (AFP Photo/Frederic J Brown)

On Tuesday, The Daily Beast reported that a virus scientist at the University of California, San Diego is warning that surfers are at elevated risk for contracting the novel coronavirus.

According to Blake Montgomery: "Kim Prather, who researches how the ocean sprays bacteria and viruses into the air, told the paper that ocean breezes may carry the drops of saliva and other fluids far: 'Surfers are saying that they’re safe if they stay six feet away from other people, but that’s only true if the air isn’t moving ... Most of the time, there’s wind or a breeze at the coast. Tiny drops of virus can float in the air and get blown around.'"

Prather is also warning beachgoers in general they are at risk of exposure: "If you don’t care about your own life, that’s one thing. But this can be a matter of life or death to other people."

The question of whether to close public beaches has become a heated issue in Florida, where GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis has urged people to stay off the beaches but has dragged his feet on issuing an order.