The state of California has set strict guidelines for reopening Disneyland and other large theme parks in the coming months.
California’s Director of Health and Human Services, Dr. Mark Ghaly, announced Tuesday at a news conference that the large California theme parks will only be able to open when their counties reach the lowest “yellow” tier under the color-coded reopening system for counties based on coronavirus prevalence and testing rates. The yellow tier or “Minimal” designation is assigned when daily new cases are under 1 per 100,000 and positive testing for COVD-19 has gone under 2%.
Orange County, the home to Disneyland, is currently in the red or “substantial” tier — meaning daily new cases are between 4 and 7 per 100,000 and positive testing for COVD-19 is between 4% and 7%.
Ghaly said that theme parks are a “higher risk setting,” while outdoor sporting evens are a “lower risk setting.” He also said that a team of California health representatives checked out parks open in other states to learn what precautions they are taking to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Ghaly said the level of mixing without masks that state observers saw was concering.
California’s theme parks have been shut since mid-March. Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., which also closed in March, reopened in mid-July with increased health and safety measures as well as reduced visitor capacity. Disney official have been urging California officials in recent weeks to allow a reopening of Disneyland.
Disney announced one Sept. 29 that it was laying off 28,000 employees, two-thirds of whom are part-time, due to the pandemic’s impact on Disneyland and Walt Disney World and blamed the state of California’s “unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.”
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