Breaking: 28 People Tested Positive For COVID At The ISA World Surfing Games - Stab Mag
The event site. Photo: Pablo Franco/ISA

Breaking: 28 People Tested Positive For COVID At The ISA World Surfing Games

Trouble in El Salvador.

Words by Stab

Times are difficult, times are strange—we’ve been hearing this for well over a year. 

As vaccines roll out and the world does its best to restart, the Surf City El Salvador ISA World Surfing Games are scheduled to run from May 29 – June 6. The Games are designed to bring surfers from 51 nations together and hand out the final 12 2021 Olympic surf slots. Over a dozen CT surfers are in attendance, fresh off jets from WA

Earlier today, from a variety of sources, we began to hear rumors of positive COVID cases on site in El Salvador. Now, we can confirm those rumors. Stab was just forwarded this email from the ISA. 

564 competitors and event officials were PCR tested for COVID-19 between May 27th and May 28th. Of these, 28 have tested positive from 20 teams. 

Athletes or team staff who tested positive have now been retested and 10 are being further verified due to different results. The remaining 18 are now required to quarantine in a hotel provided by the government, in line with protocols set out and implemented by the local government of El Salvador, the Local Organising Committee and the ISA. 

We have communicated directly with these athletes and teams involved. 

Going into it, there was talk of GPS tracking bracelets to ensure nobody veered away from the event site or mingled with surfers from other teams. Yesterday, we learned that things wouldn’t be quite as strict. At the moment, we cannot confirm how the ISA will handle this situation—but we are hearing rumors that the comp will still start tomorrow.

20 out of 51 teams potentially dealing with an infectious disease is a scary idea. We’ve also heard whispers that an entire team tested positive. With the Tokyo Olympics less than two months away—and nearly 30% of the surf slots still undecided—it’s a tricky one, indeed. Props to the ISA for doing their best to pull this event off for the sake of surfing. Let’s hope for good news to come. 

We’ll keep you posted. 


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