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Q: Is it safe to go surfing? What is known about the risk of going in the ocean during coronavirus?

First of all, it’s good that you’re getting exercise. Moving your body and staying fit is very important for your overall health, and we all know how powerful the ocean can be in healing our mind, body, and spirit.

When it comes to surfing and swimming in the ocean, first make sure to check current state and county rules about using beach parks, and follow those orders.

As for whether or not it’s safe to go in the water, there’s still a lot we don’t know about this coronavirus, how it’s transmitted, and how long it survives in ocean water. However, more recently the CDC and several infectious disease experts have stated that the risk of contracting COVID-19 from virus particles in the water is thought to be low with no evidence that anyone has gotten COVID-19 from recreational water.

That being said, it’s still important to practice social distancing when you’re out there waiting for waves, as well as when you’re in the parking lot and walking across the beach.

As always, it’s a good idea to avoid surfing in areas where there’s a lot of runoff, and you should rinse off with fresh water both before and after going in the water.

Dr. David Ulin, MD
Chief Medical Director