COVID-19 update: Walt Disney World, SeaWorld will present reopening plans to Orange County Task Force

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Walt Disney World and SeaWorld will share their reopening plans with the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force during the Task Force’s Wednesday, May 27 virtual meeting.

The Task Force meeting will be live streamed 10 a.m.-noon on the county’s YouTube channel, Orange TV.

At a Tuesday, May 26, news conference on the coronavirus, Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings said earlier that day he previewed the theme parks’ reopening plans via Webex.

Ahead of the presentations, Orange County sent an inspection team to both theme parks to see if they’re following recommended guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the governor’s executive order and other directives.  

Once the theme parks deliver their final presentations on their reopening plans — which Demings said will be done at tomorrow’s task force meeting — the plans will be made viewable to the public.

If the Orange County Task Force recommends approval of the plans, Demings said he will write a letter of endorsement to Governor Ron DeSantis requesting that he lets SeaWorld and Disney World reopen.

On May 21, Demings dispatched letters to the governor about reopening Universal Orlando and Orange County’s 12 smaller theme parks. 

Universal Orlando announced it will welcome guests starting June 5 while observing health and safety guidelines. 

The Orange County Task Force will also review at tomorrow’s meeting the 15,317 responses to the Orange County Consumer Confidence Survey.

Housing assistance FAQs available

Orange County has put together a webpage featuring answers to frequently asked questions about housing assistance issues. The site is www.ocfl.net/housingfaqs and available in English, Spanish and Creole. 

More PPE distribution

The distribution of personal protection equipment will continue this week, focusing on the faith-based community for worship services. Demings noted that “a lot of these houses of worship are reopening.” 

The distribution will take place Friday, May 29, at Barnett Park, 4801 W. Colonial Dr., Orlando.

Registration is required and will open soon. For more information, visit the county’s PPE page.

Small business grant program

This week, Orange County will share information about the Orange CARES Small Business Grant Program, including eligibility and what documents small businesses will need for the application process once it opens in early June.

The CARES Act has made $243 million available to Orange County for different segments of the community impacted by the coronavirus. $72.9 million (30 percent) of that amount has been earmarked for small business financial assistance.

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously on May 19 to make the $243 million funding available. 

Demings said the goal of the grant program is to assist 6,500 small businesses in Orange County. 

More information will be added on ocfl.net/orangecares