The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant loss and disruption globally. The Team Aquatic Virus recognizes the terrible burden this has placed on essential workers, marginalized peoples, and health care providers. In terms of marine research, we have taken considerable steps to keep our team and others with whom we work safe and healthy by minimizing field and lab work, providing new, remote opportunities for research and education, and participating in public outreach about aquatic virology due to heightened interest in SARS-CoV-2 persistence in marine waters. As part of this, we recently published a mini-review on coronaviruses in marine habitats and their potential persistence in seawater. We have also been engaged in research on the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater and in natural habitats receiving discharge.
We will continue to develop safe, accessible, distance (or remote/online) opportunities for student research and public engagement, and in the future hope to directly test the persistence of this virus along with factors which may influence its stability in marine and freshwater habitats.