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.