Is There Risk of Coronavirus Exposure When Surfing After Heavy Rains?


COVID-19 has the world in a panic. Grocery-store shelves are emptying, countries are on lockdown and we’re all doing our best to stem this quickly-spreading pathogen. Some of us are looking to head to the ocean for a little respite, and with good reason. But is surfing safe in these times, especially in Southern California, which has recently experienced its fair share of rain? Most surfers in Southern California—especially those located in San Diego County—are accustomed to hearing warnings about avoiding the ocean for 72 hours after heavy rains to avoid contracting a cocktail of diseases from polluted runoff. But should we be taking extra precautions to avoid the ocean during this time? Is there a risk of being exposed to the coronavirus when paddling out after the rain in places with poor wastewater management systems?

“At this point,”…

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