Orange County will lift all mask requirements on Saturday paving the way for a mask-free summer at Walt Disney World

Jun 04, 2021 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Friday June 4, 2021 9:06am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has just announced that effective Saturday June 5 he is lifting all COVID-19 restrictions relating to masks and social distancing clearing the way for Disney to move to a mask-free Walt Disney World.

Demings was speaking at the 2021 State of Orange County where the news of moving to phase 3 and eliminating mask requirements headlined his speech.

We had expected this announcement from the mayor earlier in the week, but Demings said on Wednesday that the county had achieved a 14 day positivity rate just below 5% for the last 11 days, but would need to wait until 14 days at that same level before he would lift the mask requirements.

At the end of April, Demings laid out a phased plan to begin to scale back mask and physical distancing requirements as part of a COVID-19 mitigation strategy. At that time, he announced that when 70% of the population 16+ has received their first dose of the vaccine and/or Orange County's 14-day rolling positivity rate is 5% or below all restrictions will be lifted.

Orange County reached the 50% vaccination level two weeks ago which triggered the county to drop the mask requirement when outdoors, and this quickly prompted Walt Disney World to drop its mask requirement for guests at its theme parks when outdoors. Masks still remain a requirement when entering attractions and at any indoor space at Walt Disney World, despite Universal Orlando and Sea World eliminating mask requirements both indoors and outdoors.

Disney moved very quickly to follow the Orange County outdoor mask requirement being dropped a couple of weeks ago, and we could see a mask free Walt Disney World as soon as this weekend should Disney decide to follow the updated county guidance.

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SteveAZee1 hour 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.

Chi842 hours 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.

SteveAZee2 hours 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.3 hours 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.

Tinkwings3 hours ago

Fixed that above......good point! :p

danlb_20004 hours ago

"Breathe in, Breathe out", that's a sure fire way to spread the virus! ;)

SteveAZee6 hours ago

Yes, it didn't prevent it. Harder to know how much the masks mitigated it, though... could the spike have been worse? You can only infer the answer by looking at other populations that didn't apply a mandate.

Ayla7 hours ago

Zero chance.

SoCalDisneyLover9 hours ago

Cool, anyways. So if you're saying that Delta hit Hawaii as hard as places like FL, MS, TX, AR, TN, then you're still wrong. The fact that Delta impacted everywhere is irrelevant. Hawaii got hit harder during Delta that at any other time of the pandemic. Fine. But to even compare their results with those other states, is so far from reality, it's kind of sad the comparison is being made.

mikejs7810 hours ago

Frankly, if politics weren't an issue, the solution would be to require proof of vaccination or wear a mask in any public setting, at least during outbreaks.

Trauma11 hours 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.

MansionButler8411 hours ago

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

mikejs7811 hours 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.

Trauma11 hours 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.