Hours after California Governor Gavin Newsom released guidelines for the state's amusement parks to follow while reopening, Disneyland President Ken Potrock says the procedures will force the park to remain closed for the foreseeable future. As the norm with other municipalities, California has adopted a tiered color system to assess how cities and counties around the state are doing with their respective outbreaks. Anaheim, situated in the midst of Orange County, currently sits in the "Red" tier.
To reopen, Orange County needs to reach the "Yellow," or "minimal" tier of public safety. To do this, the country needs to record just one new case of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents each day all while maintaining a positive test rate of less than 2-percent. In Potrock's statement, the executive calls Newsom's guidelines "unworkable."
"We have proven that we can responsibly reopen, with science-based health and safety protocols strictly enforced at our theme park properties around the world," Potrock says. "Nevertheless, the State of California continues to ignore this fact, instead mandating arbitrary guidelines that it knows are unworkable and that hold us to a standard vastly different from other reopened businesses and state-operated facilities."
He adds, "Together with our labor unions we want to get people back to work, but these State guidelines will keep us shuttered for the foreseeable future, forcing thousands more people out of work, leading to the inevitable closure of small family-owned businesses, and irreparably devastating the Anaheim/Southern California community."
Disneyland then included quotes from Orange County Health Care Agency director Dr. Clayton Chau, who suggests the county likely wouldn't reach the "Yellow" tier until sometime next summer.
“I think for a large county like us, especially a county with institution of higher education where folks [are] coming in from outside the county and outside the state, I think it’s going to be very hard to achieve the yellow tier," Chau says. “It depends on when the vaccine will come as well as how many doses [are] available for our populations as well as how many of our residents will readily accept the vaccine – those are the three factors that will determine how soon we can get to the yellow tier. Personally, I think that we can look forward to a yellow tier by next summer, hopefully. Hopefully.”