POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Central Florida theme parks are reinforcing cleaning procedures, restricting travel and closely monitoring updates as fears about the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19, grow.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday two people tested positive for the coronavirus in Tampa Bay.
A spokesperson from LEGOLAND Florida Resort, which is located in Winter Haven, told 8 On Your Side preparation and awareness surrounding the virus is a top priority.
“We have restricted employee travel to higher risk countries, implemented enhanced cleaning regimes at our attractions and informed our teams of coronavirus symptoms as well as the importance of good hygiene practices,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
SeaWorld Orlando, which shares owners with Busch Gardens in Tampa, released the following statement:
“In matters pertaining to public health, our parks take direction from the Florida Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We employ rigorous sanitation standards across our parks and will continue to collaborate with health officials, monitor the situation for changes and will act accordingly.”
Walt Disney World did not respond to 8 On Your Side’s request for comment. But USA Today reported Disney World instructed its cast members who recently returned from Italy to stay home out of an “abundance of caution.”
Universal Orlando Resort said it is ready to “act if needed.”
“We are communicating with our team members and reinforcing our best-practice health and hygiene procedures. We are also educating them on basic preventive measures,” wrote a Universal Orlando Resort spokesperson in a statement.
News Channel 8 spoke to people outside Legoland in Winter Haven about their plans to go to places with large crowds, like theme parks.
The responses varied.
“I would stay away from anything with big crowds. I would stay away from theme parks. I wouldn’t go on a cruise right now and I would not want to fly on a plane right now,” said Linda Tenaglia.
“I’m not avoiding large crowds. I just take standard precautions. If you hear someone coughing, look the other way,” said Susan Diebold.
“I wouldn’t do it right now. I don’t want to be out in crowds. We’re out getting some supplies right now hoping it’s not too bad out because my husband has a suppressed immune system so he definitely cannot be out in this. We don’t want to take that chance,” said Nijuana Jones.
“I probably would [go to a theme park] just like, going anywhere else in a public place. People travel, they go on airplanes and so on and so forth. I don’t think that would stop me,” said Amy Green.
“I wouldn’t fear catching that virus or anything like that. Every fear is taken away from my heart,” said Carlos Moreta, who said his faith gets him through.
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