WWE Deemed an 'Essential Business' by Florida State Officials

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the WWE has been taping and airing episodes of programming from both the WWE Performance Center and Full Sail Live in Orlando, Florida since mid-March. On Monday Orange County (Florida) Mayor Jerry Demings was asked during a press conference about how WWE being granted permission to continue producing shows despite the statewide "stay at home" order, and explained that the company was deemed an "essential business" after conversations with the office of Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

"I think initially there was a review that was done and they were not initially deemed an essential business. With some conversation with the Governor's office regarding the Governor's order, they were deemed an essential business. Therefore they were allowed to remain open," Demings explained.

He also addressed the WWE employee who tested positive for the coronavirus and said he believed WWE was doing its own internal inspection on the matter given that they're "a small family.

WWE released a statement over the weekend explaining why episodes of Raw, SmackDown and NXT will be airing live each week instead of pre-taping a large of chunk of programming in a small amount of time.

"We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times," the statement read. "We are producing content on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance following appropriate guidelines while taking additional precautions to ensure the health and wellness of our performers and staff. As a brand that has been woven into the fabric of society, WWE and its Superstars bring families together and deliver a sense of hope, determination and perseverance."

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The company also released a statement regarding the non-wrestler who tested positive.

"A WWE employee has tested positive for COVID-19," the statement read. "We believe this matter is low risk to WWE talent and staff, as the individual and a roommate became symptomatic in the days following exposure to two people working in acute health care on the evening of March 26, after WWE's TV production on a closed set was already complete. The employee had no contact with anyone from WWE since being exposed to those two individuals, is doing well, and made a complete recovery."