As we kick off August, we’re not thrilled with the news rolling in from the Sunshine State. While we’ve been super impressed as Walt Disney World makes huge strides in returning to some sense of normalcy as they navigate through phased reopenings after COVID-19 closed their doors in March 2020, we’re nervous about the rise of COVID cases in Florida. With only 60 days until “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” in honor of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, Florida has reported the highest one-day COVID case total since the start of the pandemic.
We previously shared the Orange County Mayor declared a new state of emergency on July 28. Following that news, Disneyland and Walt Disney World returned the mask requirement on July 30 for all guests (even vaccinated) while indoors. Also on July 30, Disney informed employees and Cast Members the company is now requiring that all salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. working at any sites be fully vaccinated. Disney is in discussion now with union representative to make this mandatory vaccination apply for union Cast Members as well.
As reported by Orlando Sentinel: “Florida has reported 21,683 new cases of COVID-19, the state’s highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic, according to federal health data released Saturday (7/31). The state has become the new national epicenter for the virus, accounting for around a fifth of all new cases in the U.S. The figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday showed how quickly the number of cases is rising in the Sunshine State. Only a day earlier, Florida reported 17,093 new daily cases. The previous peak in Florida had been 19,334 cases reported on Jan. 7.”
We’ll keep you posted as we learn more about what, if any, action Walt Disney World may take with the rise of COVID cases. For now, be prepared to mask up while indoors. Meanwhile, Disney’s neighbor and competitor, Universal Orlando, has stated they will not require but encourage masks indoor. Stay safe, Florida travelers and locals!