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Here's How Disney World Is Handling Coronavirus

By Daniel B. Kline - Updated Mar 9, 2020 at 10:29AM

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The company does not plan to close locations, but is taking preventative steps.

People plan a vacation to Florida's Disney World months, sometimes even years, in advance. Many visitors also stay in hotels owned by Walt Disney (DIS -1.31%), eat at its restaurants, and spend money in its shops.

The coronavirus outbreak puts those trips at risk. That's why the company has taken steps to protect its visitors and employees, but it's not planning any park closures, at least for now.

The teac cup ride at Magic Kingdom.

Walt Disney is not closing any of its Florida parks due to coronavirus. Image source: Walt Disney.

What is Disney World doing?

The company has stepped up cleaning efforts in its Florida properties.

"Our onsite health teams and leaders are communicating with our cast members about illness prevention, including the guidance of the (Center for Disease Control)," Disney World Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pamela Hymel told "The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs, such as staying home when sick, washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, following proper respiratory cough etiquette, avoiding close contact with people who are sick and avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands."

The company has also set defined cycles for cleaning and disinfecting certain areas and it has stepped up staff training. It also has new end-of-day sanitation procedures for restrooms, kitchens, and other facilities and is cleaning outdoor areas more frequently.

Is this goofy?

Disney wants to avoid park closures but it was forced to close locations in Asia due to the spread of coronavirus. In Florida, it's taking smart steps, but it has yet to be seen whether that will be enough to prevent an on-property outbreak of the virus -- which would likely force it to adopt stricter measures.

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