Disney Union Says Disney World Employees Not Being Tested

The union representing Walt Disney World Cast members in Florida said the company isn't testing staff for the virus before they return to work.
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The union representing Walt Disney World Cast members in Florida said Disney DIS is not testing employees for the coronavirus before they return to work, including stage performers who cannot wear masks.

Shares of the Burbank, Calif., entertainment giant at last check were down 1.2% at $110.17.

Last week, Disney said it was delaying the planned reopening of its Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks. After being closed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic, the resorts in Anaheim, Calif., had been scheduled to reopen on July 17.

Disney operates four theme parks at its Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. - which attract more than 150 million visitors a year -- and has planned a phased reopening slated to begin on July 11.

The Florida sites are also expected to host the National Basketball Association's truncated playoffs, a 22-team tournament that was approved by league owners on June 4.

Both Florida and California have reported increases in the number of coronavirus cases. In response, several counties in South Florida, including Miami-Dade, and Los Angeles County in California, are closing their beaches for the July 4 holiday weekend.

“If Disneyland has postponed, it is unclear how Walt Disney World can responsibly move toward reopening when coronavirus cases are much worse in Florida,” Mary McColl, executive director of Actors’ Equity Association, said in a statement.

The Florida Department of Health on Monday reported 5,266 new confirmed cases of covid-19, the sixth consecutive day in which at least 5,000 new cases had been announced, and 28 more deaths.

Testing is reportedly required for Disney's movie and television productions. Roughly 16,000 people signed a petition to Orange County Mayor Jerry Dennings and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to delay the July 11 Disney World opening, according to USA Today.

"It is deeply disturbing that while coronavirus cases in Florida surge, Disney is refusing to provide regular testing to one of the few groups of workers in the park who by the very nature of their jobs, cannot use personal protective equipment," McColl continued.

"Now is the time for Disney to pause, focus on the science and put the safety of their actors and stage managers first by making regular testing available.”

Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.