What U.S. National Emergency Means for Coronavirus Shutdowns

Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump announced he is declaring a national emergency as a result of the coronavirus outbreak spreading across America. Because of the declaration, the federal government is allotting $50 billion to help stop the spread of the virus and to give states assistance to help those infected with the virus. In an address announcing the declaration, Trump urged states to immediately set up emergency operation centers if they haven't already as the federal government's biggest response related to the crisis officially gets underway. What's this mean for all of the events that have been canceled or suspended as of now?

Short term, it means very little. A national emergency declaration allows governmental entities quick access to the funding they'd otherwise have to get through Congressional budgeting and legislation. With the influx of funding, things like tests, supplies, and more staff should become readily available to adequately combat the spreading virus.

When it comes to companies reinstating the productions of their films, television shows, or reopening their theme parks to the masses, it's expected they'll remain closed until health officials have a better understanding of how long this outbreak may last as more testing gets underway.

Many productions have temporarily closed up shop as studios continue pushing theatrical releases back after many states have recommended against attending larger public gatherings. For the fourth time in history, Disney has shuttered Disneyland and Walt Disney World in hopes of helping stop the outbreak.

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"In an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we proceeding with the closure of our theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and DIsneyland Paris Resort, beginning at the close of business on Sunday, March 15, through the end of the month," Disney said in statement released Thursday. "Disney Cruise Line will suspend all new departures beginning Saturday, March 14, through the end of the month. The Walt Disney Company will pay its cast members during that closure period. The hotels at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris will remain open until further notice. The retail and dining complexes, Disney Springs at Walt Disney World and Disney Village at Disneyland Paris, will remain open. Domestic Walt Disney Company employees who are able to work from home are being asked to do so, including those at The Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Direct-to-Consumer, and Parks, Experiences, and Products. We will continue to stay in close contact with appropriate officials and health experts."

Cover photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images