Over the past few months, things have greatly changed in Florida (and throughout the U.S. and the world) when it comes to COVID-19 and health/safety restrictions.
Distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine has continued throughout the U.S., masks are now optional in Disney World in most places for fully vaccinated guests, distancing measures have been reduced in the parks, and other changes have been made. Orange County, Florida (where part of Disney World is located) also eliminated its mask mandate after reaching certain milestones. So, what do COVID-19 case rate numbers and vaccination rates look like in Florida right now? We’re breaking down all the latest information here.
We’re sharing a look at these COVID-19 numbers in Florida because we want all of you, our wonderful readers, who are planning a trip to Disney World to have the latest information on things that could impact your vacation. If you’re planning a trip to Disney World for this summer or maybe the 50th Anniversary celebrations, we want to make sure you’re as prepared and up-to-date on all the news that could impact your trip. This is why we cover weather updates, Florida news that’s not from Disney, and other non-Disney-specific travel updates.
We hope this information is helpful and informative to those of you who are planning trips to Disney World in the future and are curious about some of these things.
State of Emergency
COVID-19 Positive Cases
According to data from the week of June 18th through June 24th, 2021 released by the Florida Department of Health, the total number of new cases for the week was 11,873. That brought the cumulative total of COVID-19 cases in Florida to 2,321,929.
This number of new weekly cases for COVID-19 is actually an increase in the number of cases seen from the previous week and one of the higher numbers seen recently. For the week of 6/11, the number of new cases was 10,512. The week before that had 11,857 cases, and the week before that was at 11,479 cases. So this past week’s total number of new cases (11,873) is actually the highest number of cases seen in recent weeks.
The new case positivity rate is also up. During this last week, the positivity rate was 3.8%. The weeks before that were at 3.3%, 3.4%, and 3.5%. So again, this is the highest number seen for a number of weeks.
Florida’s report notes that the data includes only Florida residents.
Note that Florida no longer updates its COVID-19 numbers daily. As the New York Times notes, Florida now only releases weekly reports.
Just 4 days ago, however, Fox 13 News reported that Professor Dr. Tomas Unnasch from the University of South Florida College of Public Health indicated that Florida is still averaging around 1,500 cases a day, “which is the highest level in the country right now.” WUSF Public Media has reported that the Delta variant now makes up 10% of all cases in Florida.
In terms of deaths, for the week of June 18 through June 24th, there were 217 deaths reported, as noted by Fox 13 News. The total number of deaths in Florida due to COVID-19 is 37,772.
In terms of COVID-19 vaccinations, 281,042 people were vaccinated during that week of June 18th.
Overall, 57% of the Florida population ages 12 and over has received at least 1 dose of the vaccine. Cumulatively over 9,000,000 have completed their vaccination series in full, while 1,621,232 have received their first dose.
The distribution of vaccines in Florida, however, dramatically decreased this past week as compared to the week before. During the weeks of June 11th, June 4th, and May 28th, over 400,000 vaccines were administered.This past week only saw those 281,042 vaccines administered.
Of course, this situation (and these numbers) will continue to change and vary throughout the upcoming weeks and months. We’ll continue to keep an eye out for more updates and share those with you.
Disney World Health and Safety Rules
So, now we’ve shared a look at the Florida COVID-19 case numbers, positivity rate, and vaccine information. But what does the situation look like at Disney World in terms of their health and safety policies? These policies have changed a lot over the past few weeks. Here’s a quick break-down of the current rules.
First, let’s go over the current mask policy. Currently, masks are not required for fully vaccinated guests in most locations. Fully vaccinated guests must, however, continue to wear masks on all Disney World transportation (including transportation entrances), except for Disney’s ferry boats.
Guests who are not fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks in outdoor common areas, pool decks, or on Disney’s ferry boats.
But, guests who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear masks upon entering and throughout all attractions, in all indoor theaters (including theater entrances), on all transportation except ferry boats (including transportation entrances, and in all indoor locations (including restaurants, except when actively eating or drinking).
Second, let’s take a look at Disney’s distancing policies. Disney World previously announced that they would be gradually reducing their physical distancing guidelines. Since then, we’ve seen distancing signs change (where specific mentions of “6 feet” distance have been removed or covered up) and we’ve seen Disney remove distancing language from their website.
We’ve also seen distancing markers removed from many places throughout the parks, and many rides and shows have changed their distancing requirements. Essentially, in many rides and shows, guests are now being seated in every single row and in every single seat.
Third, a number of things that previously were unavailable have returned. For example, many pre-shows have reopened. Self-serve condiments have started to return in select locations. Self-serve water stations have become available in some places, and self-serve drink stations are back in some spots.
Arcades have started to reopen in some hotels and even some play areas have reopened. Mask rules have also changed for Disney World’s Cast Members. Now, masks are optional for fully vaccinated Cast Members when working indoors and outdoors. Additionally, Cast Members are now allowed once again to hold guests’ phones or cameras to take their photos.
In terms of capacity, Park Pass reservations are still required, but Disney has noted that they will be gradually increasing capacity over the next few months.
All of these policies and rules are subject to change in the future. During your trip, be sure to check for any signs in the parks and resorts indicating what the current policies are. And be sure to stay tuned for more updates from us here at DFB.