With the holiday season winding down — and the wide availability of an effective coronavirus vaccine still months away, in all likelihood — most states have begun to assess whether or not they should implement additional lockdown measures until the spread of COVID-19 begins to abate.
In an effort to halt surging virus cases in many parts of the Golden State, which have led to high occupancy of hospital ICUs, California Governor Gavin Newsom recently implemented a regional stay-at-home order that has impacted Orange County — where Anaheim and Disneyland Resort are located — and many other metropolitan areas throughout the state.
While there were initial concerns that Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney District and Buena Vista Street area in Disney California Adventure might have to close completely, they have instead been allowed to continue operating with restrictions. These areas of the Disneyland Resort are currently operating as an outdoor shopping center and were previously only open for shopping and dining, and retail locations in Southern California are currently allowed to operate with restrictions.
Perhaps the biggest change is that all dining and drinking — even a Starbucks coffee — must occur offsite. Some restaurants are still open and allowed to offer carryout services, but any items must be taken off of Disneyland Resort property prior to consumption. Signage throughout the Downtown Disney District and Disney California Adventure’s Buena Vista Street reflect this new regulation.
Here, we take a look at what might happen if Governor Newsom’s stay-at-home order is extended, which appears to be inevitable, given the current status of hospital ICUs in Southern California.
What is the current status of California’s stay-at-home order?
Los Angeles news station ABC 7 shared these details about the existing stay-at-home order:
The original order was set to last three weeks, expiring Dec. 28.
But Southern California’s ICU capacity stands at 0% as hospitals strain under a continuing increase in new patients.
To exit from the stay-at-home order, a region has to move back to at least 15% ICU capacity. After hitting that mark, projections must predict the region will stay at that level for at least another four weeks before the order can be lifted.
“It is likely that the Regional Stay at Home Order will extend for many regions in California,” state health officials said in a statement released Saturday. “Regions must remain under the Regional Stay at Home Order for at least three weeks and shall continue until ICU capacity projections for four weeks from the day assessed are above or equal to 15%.”
The Los Angeles Times reported additional information regarding the status of Governor Newsom’s order:
A holiday surge in coronavirus cases may result in extended stay-at-home orders for Southern California and other areas.
The earliest date that Southern California could have become eligible to exit the existing order was Monday, but state officials said Sunday that the region and several other areas of the state would likely have to continue following the restrictions for several more weeks as the recent surge is pushing hospitals to the breaking point.
While we do not have confirmation of an extension at the time this article is being published, we will continue to update as additional details from the California Governor’s Office become available.
It seems nearly inevitable that the stay-at-home order will be extended in an effort to get surging coronavirus cases under control in Southern California.
In a press conference today, Governor Newsom state that it is “self-evident” that the stay-at-home order in Southern California is likely to be extended. The initial three-week period is due to expire today. However, the Governor’s Office looks at projected numbers four weeks ahead, so based upon the data collected today, Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly will share updated projections tomorrow. Inside the Magic will provide additional details as they are annoumnced.
What does this mean for Disneyland Resort?
If the order is extended, restrictions, including capacity limitations at retail establishments and continued dining suspensions, will continue. An extension would certainly impact the Downtown Disney District and Buena Vista Street’s operations. Carthay Circle and other restaurants, for example, would have to continue offering carryout service only.
It could also, potentially, further delay the opening of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park.
Currently, there has been no word about whether or not theme parks will still be subject to existing reopening guidelines — which include waiting until their counties have entered the Blueprint For a Safe Economy’s yellow COVID-19 tier — once vaccine distribution has begun for the general public.
It is not all, however, bad news. Vaccine progress is being made and we know that Disneyland Resort will eventually be able to resume full operations, once again becoming The Happiest Place on Earth for Guests.
As ABC 7 noted:
Despite the worries, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
About 2 million Americans have now received a COVID-19 vaccine.
For the latest information about current Downtown Disney District operations, operating hours, and restrictions, visit the Disneyland Resort official website.
What are your thoughts? Should California’s stay-at-home order be extended?