Disney Parks is adding additional hand sanitizing stations to Disney World in an attempt to help curb the spread fo the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This comes after Disney's announcement on Tuesday that it is canceling a press event tied to the European launch of Disney+ for similar reasons. According to the Orlando Sun-Sentinel, Disney is also reminding its workforce to take precautions by frequently washing and sanitizing their hands. The company also says it is monitoring the situation at the state and federal levels. It could not provide a firm number in regards to how many new sanitizing stations have been added to its parks.
Other parks including Universal Studios and SeaWorld are also monitoring the situation. Legoland went as far as to restrict employee travel to high-risk countries and to implement "enhanced cleaning regimes" at the Winter Haven park.
"The health and safety of our guests and our staff is always our top priority and we will take all necessary precautions to ensure their continued welfare," said Merlin Entertainment spokeswoman Julie Estrada in a statement. "Like many businesses, we continue to monitor the situation closely and are in regular contact with local authorities so we may respond quickly to any developments."
COVID-19 has infected more than 90,000 worldwide and killed more than 3,000 of those infected. There have been three confirmed cases of coronavirus in Florida as of Tuesday. This includes at least one in Tampa Bay, the site of Wrestlemania 36. Orlando has the potential to be a flashpoint in the spread of coronavirus in the United States as its parks draw upwards of 75 million people each year from around the world. Any disruption to that tourism could have a serious impact on the financial projections of companies with interests in the area, including Disney.
In a statement regarding the Disney+ event cancellation, Disney said, "Due to a number of media attendee cancellations and increasing concerns at the prospect of traveling internationally at this time, we have decided to cancel our Disney+ launch events scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday."
The spread of the COVID-19 has caused wide-scale disruption across the entertainment industry. WWE is monitoring the spread of the virus in Tampa Bay, Florida, the site of WrestleMania 36. Warner Bros. canceled the premiere of Superman: Red Son. Netflix is struggling to film Dwayne Johnson's new movie, Red Notice. Disney delayed the Chinese premiere of its live-action Mulan movie indefinitely. The Game Developers Conference canceled its 2020 event after a series of company pullouts. Certain events are moving ahead undeterred for now, E3 and Emerald City Comic Con among them.
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