It’s been weeks since the theme parks in Orlando, Florida have started reopening. To be exact, the Walt Disney World started its phased reopening to the general public sixteen days ago, and Universal Orlando Resort began welcoming theme park guests on June 5.
This has recently sparked the question of whether Florida’s spike in Coronavirus cases is linked to the theme park reopenings. A week ago, a county report showed that there has been no outbreaks tied to the theme parks.
In a press conference today with Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and Dr. Raul Pino, it seems that this still remains true. Though there have been cases seen in theme park goers, there has been no traces back to transmission from the theme parks. Below is Dr. Pino’s response to a reporter’s question about the pandemic in regards to the theme parks.
Reporter: “At this point, how many COVID-19 cases have been traced back to theme parks in our area, Universal, Sea World, Fun Spot, Gatorland, etc, and of course, Disney? If you don’t have a number, how can you say the theme parks reopening are not contributing to our recent spike in coronavirus cases?”
Dr. Raul Pino: “Well, the fact that I don’t have a number, I see it [reinforces] when I’m saying that. So there are people in our community that want to have an outbreak in the parks, and we are looking for an outbreak in the parks, and we have not seen it. It does not mean that has not happened. We haven’t been able to triangulate that data. Now, we are changing a little bit the data analytics at our place so that we have a higher opportunity to detect those. Now if the question is have you seen any cases that may have mention a park? Yes, we have. Can we establish transmissions at the parks? We have not been able to establish transmissions at the parks, yet. Our teams also visited, I believe, Sea World last week, and they were impressed by the compliance that they saw at the place. Disney has done a wonderful job. Universal too. They have been open to our visits. Listen, if I don’t have the cases, I cannot lie. I don’t have cases there yet.”
You can watch the full press conference below:
Many local officials and Cast Members alike have shared why they feel confident in the theme parks reopening. As Dr. Pino says, Disney has established health and safety measures to protect the wellbeing of Guests and Cast Members at Walt Disney World Resort. AdventHealth CEO Terry Shaw has even shared his thoughts, as a healthcare provider and Annual Passholder, on how well Walt Disney World has handled health and safety measures.
Additionally, in a Zoom meeting, two Cast Members shared how comfortable they were returning back to work. One even mentions that she feels more comfortable being at Disney than going to the grocery store.