Former Disney Imagineer Says Rapid COVID Test Could Be Key For Cruises, Parks

in Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

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The current coronavirus pandemic has been going on for over a year now, affecting so many individuals and businesses around the world. Both small businesses and large corporations such as The Walt Disney Company have been impacted.

Though coronavirus vaccines have slowly starting to roll out, public places such as theme parks and cruise ships must continue to take extra precautions so they can create a safe “bubble” for visitors.

Related: COVID Vaccine Progress: Good Things for Disneyland & Disney Cruises?

Disneyland
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Current Health and Safety Protocols Implemented

Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and other major theme parks around the world have already implemented safety and health protocols in order to operate as safely as they possibly can during this unprecedented time. Some of these protocols include the requirement of wearing a proper face covering, maintaining a safe social distance from others, temperature checks, mobile ordering, and others.

On the flip side, however, other theme parks remain closed — including Disneyland Resort theme parks and Universal Hollywood theme parks — due to state guidelines. It is important to note that the Downtown Disney District is currently open and operating for shopping and dining, with portions of Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure Park acting as an extension of Downtown Disney. Currently, there are several health and safety protocols implemented there as well for those Guests wishing to visit.

Related: New Far-UVC Light Technology Can Help Disney, Universal Battle Pandemic

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Vaccinations Start Rolling Out

As we continue to move forward with the pandemic, and as people continue to get vaccinated, Disney World has made it clear that Guests must still follow the current rules, including wearing a face mask. With more and more people getting the COVID-19 vaccine, what if there was a quick and easy way to determine if an individual had the virus? Yes, currently Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and other theme parks around the world have implemented temperature screenings for Guests prior to entering the theme park, but as we know, this only reads individuals’ temperatures. It does not test for the COVID-19 virus specifically. This means that those who are asymptomatic could, theoretically, still enter the parks.

Well, a rapid test could be the key for theme parks continuing to operate, other theme parks such as Disneyland and Universal Hollywood to reopen, and even for cruise ships to begin setting sail again.

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A Rapid COVID-19 Breathalyzer Test Could Be The Key

Former Disney Imagineer, Eddie Sotto recently reported on the future of theme parks and cruise ships in regards to COVID-19. He touched upon vaccinations, screening solutions, and even a rapid breathalyzer test that could be the key.

When discussing if “back to normal” can ever be the “new normal”, Sotto stated in a Blooloop article:

To truly be open in a way that meets the high expectation of returning guests, we need to work toward a practical instant screening solution as well as COVID vaccinations. We need a screening solution that delivers on the Safest Place on Earth “Bubble” of shared experience and can also adapt to screen out variant strains and other contagions. It’s a big ask, but it’s needed.

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Sotto went on to explain how new rapid breathalyzer tests, which show 95% accurate results, could be the key for the future of theme parks, cruise ships, and more.

This is why our futureproof team of doctors, physicists and designers, while open to other alternative rapid tests, advocate the eventual use of a chemical-free, digital terahertz rapid test, backed by machine learning.

In the lab, we’ve seen 2-minute, 95% accurate results with the potential to detect other viruses. This could truly futureproof any park, theatre, cruise ship or stadium. That’s worth developing.

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Related: California Acquires Pfizer Vaccine, Paving the Way for Disneyland’s Reopening

Sotto continued by explaining how these disposable breathalyzer test tubes are not only fast with accurate results, but they are “non-invasive” for the Guest.

Antigen and PCR rapid tests are chemically based and quickly gaining the reputation of having too many false results and not being accurate enough.

Meanwhile, Terahertz digital testinggives operators a small portable scanner. This can be operated by their existing employee base, flagging contagion regardless of being asymptomatic. Screening via a disposable breathalyzer tube is fast and non-invasive for the guest. Once inserted and scanned by the sensing machine, this detects contagion before they’ve had their backpack searched, with higher accuracy than antigen tests.

disney world reopening
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Related: COVID Tests & Disneyland: Would You Get Tested to Get In?

He even says that companies are already heading down the road of wanting to utilize these tests and he suspects cruise ships may be the first to get these tests.

More than one company is heading down this route and cruise ships may be the first to get such tests.

But all in all, the bottom line is that no company or public place wants to close again after they reopened. Vaccinations are going to help with the spread of COVID-19, but there still needs to be a quick screening for the virus to help create this “bubble”. The former Disney Imagineer said:

COVID vaccinations are a powerful ally in the fight against the virus. But, regardless of method, we need a near-instant, frictionless contagion screening for viruses in general to create a bubble of well being and restore the guest experience of every venue that has it.

No one wants to close again once reopened, and vaccines solve for many but not all. Let’s aim high!

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Related: COVID-19 Testing for Guests May Open Disneyland Sooner

If you are planning to visit a public place, such as Walt Disney World Resort or the Downtown Disney District, please remember to practice safety and health protocols in order to keep yourself and others safe during this time. Keep your distance from other Guests, wear your appropriate face coverings at all required times, wash your hands often, try to use paperless payment methods, and cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing.

What do you think? Should theme parks and cruise ships start utilizing these rapid breathalyzer COVID-19 tests? Would you feel safer with them around? Let us know in the comments below.

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