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Disney parks to close Disneyland after workers freak out over coronavirus

Coronavirus fears haven’t hit Disneyland yet.

SHARE Disney parks to close Disneyland after workers freak out over coronavirus
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that the state will soon provide updates about theme parks reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic, USA Today reports.

Three of the most popular attractions at Disneyland, the Disneyland Monorail, Matterhorn Bobsleds and Submarine Voyage, all debuted on the same day, June 14, 1959.

Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland via MCT

Update: Disney Parks said it will close Disneyland and Disney California Adventure until the end of the month. Cast members will be paid during that time.

Disney hadn’t made any decision about its U.S. parks because of the coronavirus scare, and some workers were beginning to freak out.

What’s going on?

  • The United States has seen about 1,300 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, leading cities and states to call for precautions to keep the virus from spreading.
  • Disney closed parks in Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong, according to CNN.
  • But Disneyland Paris, Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California remained open for awhile.
  • The park’s employees, called “cast members,” are considering what to do next.
  • The Deseret News has repeatedly asked Disneyland for a comment on the coronavirus. No such comment has been returned.

What cast members said:

  • One cast member told The Verge: “We have heard very little from management about the response to COVID-19. I haven’t heard a single word about other parks closing, almost like it is a dirty secret. I’ve seen a lot of companies talking about extended sick leaves, working from home and working with insurance to ensure free testing, but nothing of the sort from Disney other than ‘wash your hands.’”
  • An employee told The Verge: “Everywhere I see the financial impact the virus is having, but almost nothing on the people impact. Forcing full-time and part-time employees to not work and not get paid for a week to several weeks is incredibly scary. A lot of people here live week to week and this could devastate their lives.”

Disneyland doesn’t have to stop big gatherings

What has Disney said?

There are two comments linked to Disney so far.

Dr. Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer for Disney Parks, said in a statement (via THR):

As part of our commitment to the health and well-being of our cast, guests and the larger community, we are carefully monitoring the evolving coronavirus situation and are in regular contact with health agencies for information and guidance. Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, are welcoming guests as usual and we continue to implement preventive measures in line with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health agencies.

A Disney spokesperson released the following statement to People magazine:

We know there is new information this week about coronavirus in Florida.

We have very stringent sanitation procedures in place at Walt Disney World Resort. We are in close contact with health agencies for information and guidance, and at this time, we are continuing to communicate to our Cast the importance of preventative measures such as frequent hand-washing and rigorous cleaning processes.

For guest convenience, we have placed additional hand sanitizers throughout our parks and resorts and will adjust our protocols as the situation warrants.