Orange County Mayor and Walt Disney World say no changes to mandatory mask usage rules despite Florida Governor Executive Order

May 03, 2021 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Monday May 3, 2021 4:49pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Walt Disney World and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings have this afternoon moved to distance themselves from the Florida Governor's latest executive order.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said earlier today that he was immediately suspending all local COVID emergency orders via an executive order. This would limit the measures that local mayors can take during pandemics, which would appear to include the Orange County mandatory mask mandate which impacts Walt Disney World. The text of the Executive Order released late Monday appears to indicate however that it is effective July 1 2021.

Orange County is currently under a mandatory mask mandate, which this state-level executive order may try to undo. However, this afternoon both Walt Disney World and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings have stated that there are no changes at this point.

In a statement on My Disney Experience Disney has said, "We are aware of the state of Florida's plans announced today to modify COVID-19 guidelines. We will evaluate this latest guidance and maintain our current health and safety measures at this time, including face covering requirements. We will contuse to make thoughtful adjustments to our policy. As COVID-19 vaccines become available, we encourage people to get vaccinated."

Mayor Jerry Demings said in a 4pm press conference that he has not seen the DeSantis executive order. He left the press briefing by saying that he would release a written response should the executive order be published which appears to have happened shortly after the press briefing concluded.

Orange County released details last week on the steps forward to remove COVID-19 restrictions.

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SteveAZee6 days ago

It seems like the idea, in restaurants, is to keep the spread local to the table as much as possible, conceding that you're eating and drinking there so... particulates all over. Moving from door to table or table to restroom allows you to 'spread the wealth' across all the tables in between... so I sort of understand the logic of maskless at the dining table and masked everywhere else.

Chi846 days ago

I see almost no masking in restaurants. People wear them walking to and from their table but don’t wear them at all while seated. It’s just the nature of restaurants. I’m not sure how much good mask mandates are doing in restaurants. The servers do wear them so maybe that helps.

SteveAZee6 days ago

I suppose that's possible, certainly in broader applications. Having mask mandates under controlled environments likely to cause spread (such as airplanes, restaurants, etc), that seems to work. Trying to enforce a mask mandate for the public at large seems difficult.

Tom P.6 days ago

I do look at the comparative data. Which is why I think mask mandates should all be lifted. There is very little, if any, data to suggest that mask mandates make any appreciable difference. Note that I am referring to mask mandates, not to masks themselves. Effectiveness of masks themselves is an entirely different matter. But having mandates in place does not seem to make any significant difference in outcomes.

Ayla7 days ago

Zero chance.

Trauma7 days ago

You make a great point here about a clearly defined goal. It makes it easier to determine success or failure. It also makes it easier to then replicate the goal in other similar settings.

MansionButler847 days ago

A goal is better than a vague, “maybe someday,” at least.

mikejs787 days ago

We will see how well that works here in MA. We have a universal school mask mandate until October 1. After Oct 1, schools can remove the mask requirement for vaccinated students and staff only, and only if the school reaches an 80% vaccination threshold.

Trauma7 days ago

Exactly. We can not aim at a target that does not exist. We need a goal. A person who says I want to lose 5 pounds is much more likely to take action that a person who says I need to lose some weight. Yes they are both goals but one is more clearly defined and therefore more likely to be acted upon.

MansionButler847 days ago

They don’t WANT to keep the masks, obviously. At the latest, I’m sure they go away for good when respiratory illness season ends next spring.

Tinkwings7 days ago

And while doing so, unless you are all by yourself.....

Trauma7 days ago

At then end of the day when Florida’s numbers drop down to May/June levels Disney will be forced to either change policy or lose business.

Chi847 days ago

Based on their past actions, I personally would not be comfortable predicting what either the CDC or Disney will do regarding masks in the next few months. I would caution anyone planning a trip to take any such predictions with a huge grain of salt.

Touchdown7 days ago

If/When Florida goes to yellow (moderate transmission) then I think Disney will consider lifting the order, however Florida is still very much in the red (severe) range and more then double the upper limit of orange (substantial.) They are unlikely to get there prior to 10/1. Disneyland, more specifically Orange County, CA however, may very well get there before 10/1. Watch to see what happens there to determine Disney’s plan.