DeSantis announced that the state has no plans to curtail restart dates that they have already approved.
“We are monitoring all aspects related to COVID-19 in Florida and do not have plans to roll back any approved reopening business plans at this time,” the governor’s office sent in a statement to WSTP.
This includes central Florida’s biggest employer: Disney World.
The Florida theme park, whose reopening plans were approved back in May, is still set to open as early as July 11 despite pleas from cast members urging government officials and park executives to delay their plans out of the safety of guests and staff members.
Many of their concerns were detailed in a petition on moveon.org, which has since notched over 12,000 signatures as of Friday morning.
An entrance of Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on August 19, 2015 (iStock)
“Because of the increase in cases suddenly, it is clear that theme parks – a non-essential business – should not be planning to operate until the cases have gone down again,” the petition stated. “While theme parks are a great way to relax and enjoy free time, it is a non-essential business; it is not fair to the people who work there to risk their lives, especially if they are at risk or have family members who are at risk. People are more important than making a profit.”
Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks are slated to open on July 11 followed by EPCOT and Hollywood Studios on July 15. The phased reopening will effectively end a nearly four-month shut down that stifled business for the employer who has a workforce of 77,000 employees.
However, the petition suggests that Disney should halt its reopening plans until cases have gone down again and that “retreating back to an earlier Phase in re-opening” is the best way to prevent exposing the thousands of theme park employees and their families to the virus.
Representatives for Walt Disney World and Gov. DeSantis have not immediately returned Fox News’ request for comment.
This past week, Florida’s caseload surpassed the 100,000-person mark. On Tuesday, the Sunshine State had 103,503 cases, a daily jump of 3,286 cases. Florida also reported 3,238 deaths, an increase of 64 from the previous day. The newly announced cases ranged from the top federal prosecutor in Tallahassee to 11 athletes on different teams at the University of Florida.
By contrast, Disney announced it was postponing the mid-July reopening of its Southern California theme parks until it receives guidelines from the state. Disney also will delay the planned July 23 reopening of its Grand Californian and Paradise Pier hotels.
The quick reversal came after Gov. Gavin Newsom voiced concerns about reopening amid the recent increases in COVID-19 infections across Southern California counties.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.