Lots of things have changed at Disney World and all over the world over the past few months when it comes to mask wearing and other pandemic-related rules and regulations.
And the situation with the pandemic itself continues to shift and adjust. Recently, we’ve taken a look at the latest COVID-19 case numbers in Florida and shared news about how COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in Central Florida. Today, the Mayor of Orange County (part of Disney World is located in Orange County), provided an update on the county’s COVID-19 numbers and his recommendations.
Earlier today, Orange County’s Mayor Demings held a press conference regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. During the conference, Mayor Demings noted that COVID-19 case numbers have been going up in Orange County, as we had shared with you previously.
Mayor Demings noted that the 14-day rolling positivity rate is currently at 7.78% at the moment. He shared that 2 weeks ago that rate was at 4.28%. He also said that Orange County is now considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be in the high-risk category for community transmission.
Thus, Mayor Demings stated, “it is my official recommendation that Orange County return to the status in which it is recommended that all residents vaccinated and unvaccinated consider wearing facial coverings indoors when in crowded environments.”
Additionally, Mayor Demings said “if unvaccinated you should mask up to protect others.” Note that the mask mandate was previously eliminated in Orange County when the county reached a 14-day rolling positivity rate of 5% or below, per county guidance.
He also shared that the COVID-19 virus and its variants are primarily impacted unvaccinated persons.
UPDATE: During a recent press conference held on July 19th, Mayor Demings shared that he had inquired about the options for the local government. But, he felt that the Florida Governor’s order, which suspended local COVID-19 restrictions, and the Florida law approved by the governor and legislature that places certain restrictions on select local government mandates, makes it so that the local government cannot mandate a mask requirement.
Essentially, while Mayor Demings noted that he stays “committed” to the recommendation he previously announced regarding masks in Orange County, and he asks residents to voluntarily wear face masks indoors and in crowded spaces, no mask mandate is being put in place in Orange County as Mayor Demings has indicated he feels none can be put in place due to the existing laws in Florida.
During the recent press conference, Mayor Demings also encouraged Orange County businesses to ask their guests/customers to wear masks indoors and in crowded areas as local businesses can mandate certain requirements for their guests.
At this time, Disney has not made any statements regarding any changes in its mask policies. Currently, fully vaccinated guests are not required to wear masks in most locations in Disney World, except on Disney World transportation (except the ferry boats).
Persons who are not fully vaccinated are required wear masks upon entering and throughout all attractions, in all indoor theaters (including theater entrances), in all transportation (except ferry boats) including transportation entrances, and in all indoor locations including restaurants except when actively eating or drinking.
Masks are not required for guests who are not fully vaccinated when in outdoor common areas and on pool decks. Note that Disney World is not requiring proof of vaccination.
We’ll continue to keep an eye out for more updates about Orange County’s COVID-19 case numbers, other recommendations from the Mayor, and any news from Disney. Stay tuned for all the latest Disney news.