Florida has just had two people test “presumptively” positive for Covid-19 and Governor, Ron DeSantis, “has issued an executive order declaring a public health emergency and engaging statewide response for control of coronavirus.”
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 2, 2020
First of all let me explain what a ‘Presumptively Positive Test’ is:
A ‘Presumptively Positive Test’ means that someone has tested positive for the virus by a public health laboratory. But it needs to be confirmed through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) before it’s considered “positive.”
According to AL.Com “Eight other cases are pending test results; 15 Florida residents tested negative for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. More than 180 people are under public health monitoring, including those who are at risk of being exposed to the virus or have returned from China in the past 14 days.”
Where are the two people located?
The two individuals that have tested positive come from Manatee County and Hillsborough County. The Hillsborough County individual recently traveled to Italy. The Manatee County individual does not have a “travel history” to one of the highly affected areas. They started to have symptoms and went for medical treatment.
WDWNT posted this image from John Hopkins CSSE.
You can see where the two cases are located relative to other areas in Florida.
According to the Florida Department of Health:
“Florida’s public health system is well prepared to handle COVID-19. Our health care professionals throughout the state are implementing the appropriate protocols and are ready to respond”
The Governor will be holding press conferences about the situation. But they have a plan and are on it.
How will this affect Walt Disney World?
Short answer: We don’t know, but we know they are already on it.
Yesterday we posted an article related to the cruise industry where we talked about how the Orlando Weekly indicated that Disney is actively on alert and has been treating this like any other emergency, with meetings and plans. So they are on it.
Guest Relations at Walt Disney World is treating the situation similarly to how the resort operates ahead of hurricanes, telling guests who are concerned that the company is monitoring the situation closely while offering guests, on a case by case situation, the ability to reschedule their vacations.
Leadership within Disney is reportedly meeting daily and are in regular communication with other industry leaders regarding their response. As with other security concerns, any response by the parks will likely be in unison with all Orlando parks responding in a similar fashion at the same time.
One industry analyst who works at a firm with multiple hospitality holdings spoke to Orlando Weekly, explaining, “Everyone is watching it. Everyone is scared to be the first to say, ‘F*ck, this is bad.’ But once someone says it, expect a lot more to join them.”
We don’t know how many people the individuals that tested positive had contact with or how far, if anywhere it spread, outside of them. What we do know is that Florida and Disney are on it.
Currently there are closures to the Asian Disney Parks, and Disneyland Paris is going day-by-day on their status as the French government is warning people not to go where there are large groups. They have shut down schools, events and even the Louvre.
Right now the Disney Parks in the United States are the ones that haven’t had any potential issues yet. Hopefully they stay that way, because frankly I don’t think Disney can take that right now with the stocks falling and the CEO Freaky Friday switch. They can’t keep losing the revenue. Especially now that they are opening at new attraction in Orlando.
Should I still go to Orlando?
If you are worried about traveling it’s understandable. Use your own discretion to decide your travel plans. Just know that there have been cases not far from the area, but that may not mean that it has traveled to Orlando.
According to the Community Advocate: Covid-19 spreads “when you are in close proximity to someone who is infected and they cough or sneeze without covering up. You must be exposed to an infected individual to catch COVID 19.”
If you decide to travel just take precautions like extra hand washing, wiping things down, not touching your face, etc. What you would do to prevent the regular flu. If you develop symptoms contact a medical professional immediately.
Those of you that are traveling to a Florida park, attraction, cruise, etc. soon, just keep an eye on the Florida news to see if there are any changes you should know about.
What do you think? Comment and let us know.
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.