Orange County, CA has been taken off the state of California’s COVID-19 watch list amid the pandemic. But since this is the county where Disneyland Resort is located, many are wondering what this news means for the reopening of the Disney theme parks in California. Here’s what we know so far and what we think will happen next.
Orange County Taken Off COVID-19 Watch List
It was announced today that Orange County, was taken off the state of California’s watch list.
The City of Anaheim took to Twitter to share the news:
Orange County Health Care Agency indicates were are in day 1 off California's monitoring list. A welcome sign of progress, but there will be no immediate change. We need to keep our guard up and keep slowing the spread of cases. #anaheim #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/Bl9APV2XpK
— City of Anaheim (@City_of_Anaheim) August 23, 2020
Due to case numbers, OC was one of many counties placed on a “watch list.” However, ABC 7 reports today that COVID-19 case numbers have begun trending downward, making it possible for OC to be removed from the list of counties that the state of California was on high alert for.
Here’s a breakdown of the numbers and news:
The county’s case rate per 100,000 residents dropped from 92.9 to 90.2, which is still far higher than the California Department of Public Health threshold of 25 per 100,000 residents.
The county has 29% of intensive care unit beds available, which is better than the state’s 20% threshold. And the county’s hospitals have 58% of their ventilators available, well above the state standard of 25%.
The OCHCA reported that 594,082 COVID-19 tests have been conducted, including 5,163 reported Sunday. There have been 37,452 documented recoveries.
Orange County could be placed back on the list should it be flagged for exceeding any one of six different metrics for three consecutive days.
When Can Disneyland Reopen?
Disneyland Resort began its phased reopening on July 9 with the opening of Downtown Disney. However, ever since late June when the reopening of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure was pushed back, Annual Passholders and hopeful Guests have been in the dark about when the theme parks will reopen. Even Disney company executives have remained mum on any news regarding Disneyland Resort.
The latest update regarding California theme parks stated that — as of August 10 — the reopening of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure still depends on the state of CA.
“Theme parks are not permitted to open in California at this time, under current public health orders,” California Health and Human Services spokesperson Kate Folmar said via email to the OC Register. “We will continue to review health data to determine when and how theme parks may consider reopening at lower risk to staff and visitors.”
Still, keeping in mind that so much of the decision to reopen public venues such as theme parks depends on the current pandemic, it can be argued that the fact that the county where Disneyland Resort is located has been taken off the COVID-19 watch list is a good sign.
Lately, official Disneyland Resort social media accounts have begun posting messages encouraging locals to wear their masks and practice healthy habits in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. But many believe that such posts are a way for Disneyland Resort Cast Members to hopefully help convince locals in Anaheim and the greater Orange County area keep COVID-19 case numbers trending downward.
The caption of a video shared by the Disneyland Ambassadors reads:
Anaheim, Orange County, Residents, and Friends! It’s time to #MaskUpOC. For more information on recommended health and safety measures visit: occovid19.ochealthinfo.com
At this time, Disneyland Resort has not yet shared a new proposed reopening date for the Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks or even the three onsite hotels. However, as more updates come from Orange County and the state of California, we are hopeful that Disney will share more information as soon as it is believed that Disneyland Resort can safely continue its phased reopening.
We’ll update Inside the Magic when Disneyland officials share more information pertaining to the phased reopening of Disneyland Resort. We hope to find out more news about southern California theme parks in the coming weeks.