To ensure we are equipping our readers with all the information they need, we will continue to report on all travel, safety, and COVID-related news that could impact a Disney Parks visit.
Mask policy changes, updates on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and cruise line COVID-19 changes — the situation with the pandemic and the regulations in response to it are ever-changing.
And now there have been more developments. We’ve already shared how individuals in the United States can get free N95 masks and free COVID-19 tests. Soon a new initiative will be in place that will change things when it comes to COVID-19 testing and treatment.
According to the New York Times, President Biden has announced a new “test to treat” COVID-19 initiative. The goal of the initiative would be to provide patients with antiviral medication as soon as they learn that they are infected with COVID-19.
During President Biden’s State of the Union Address, he shared “I know you’re tired, frustrated and exhausted…But I also know this: Because of the progress we’ve made, because of your resilience and the tools that we have been provided by this Congress, tonight I can say we are moving forward safely, back to more normal routines.”
The New York Times notes that caseloads for COVID-19 are in fact declining across the country.
The White House’s new detailed COVID-19 response strategy is said to be introduced today, Wednesday, March 2nd. The new strategy is expected to “address a broad range of issues, including developing new vaccines and therapeutics and how to keep schools and businesses open even if the pandemic takes a turn for the worse.”
The idea behind the new strategy is to move from “crisis mode” to a place where the COVID-19 virus no longer disrupts normal life.
According to the New York Times, the “test to treat” initiative is a “central component” of the new plan. Under the “test to treat” strategy, individuals could get tested for COVID-19 at a pharmacy. If they are positive, they could then “receive antiviral pills on the spot at no cost,” according to President Biden.
The antiviral pills are made by Pfizer and have been authorized for use by the Food and Drug Administration. The President has indicated that Pfizer is working hard to get the U.S. more than 1 million pills this month. A White House official has indicated that people could receive antiviral pills through this program as early as this month.
According to the New York Times database, there are an average of 66,000 new COVID-19 cases being reported each day in the U.S. as of late. That’s less than the average daily caseload of 800,000 that was being reported in January. But, the New York Times notes that this number is still more than 5 times as much as the COVID-19 caseload from last June (before the Delta variant surge).
As we noted before, a number of changes regarding COVID-19 have been made recently. The CDC recently updated its guidance regarding the wearing of masks. Under the new guidance, the New York Times notes that about “70 percent of Americans can stop wearing masks for now.”
Of course, the situation with the pandemic is subject to change again.
Note that right now in Disney World masks are optional in most indoor locations for guests who are fully vaccinated. Guests who are not fully vaccinated are expected to continue to wear masks in indoor locations. And all guests (regardless of vaccination status) are required to wear masks in enclosed Disney transportation and select other spots, like First Aid locations.
We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for updates that might impact your trip or your vacation plans.