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WWE Deemed Essential in Florida and Will Air Live Without Audiences

WWE has been deemed an essential business in Florida. It was airing taped events in empty arenas for a month but now says it'll begin airing live, though audiences will still be absent.

World Wrestling Entertainment  (WWE) - Get Report has been deemed an "essential business" in Florida by the governor, according to Orange County, Florida Mayor Jerry Demings.

For a month in empty arenas, the sports-entertainment company has been putting on taped shows for its Monday, Wednesday and Friday night broadcasts. These include its biggest program, the annual pay-per view event Wrestlemania.

Those events were taped in advance at WWE's venue in Orlando, but WWE now says it'll be airing its weekly shows live again, though audiences will still be absent. 

"I think initially there was a review that was done and they were not initially deemed an essential business," Demings said. 

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"With some conversation with the governor's office regarding the governor's [stay-at-home] order, they were deemed an essential business. Therefore, they were allowed to remain open." 

WWE said in a statement that "it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times. 

"We are producing content on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance following appropriate guidelines while taking additional precautions to ensure the health and wellness of our performers and staff." 

Reports say that one of the company's wrestlers tested positive for coronavirus. 

WWE came out with a statement confirming that one of its employees and a roommate became symptomatic in the days following exposure to two people working in acute health care on March 26. 

The company also said the two individuals had no contact with anyone from WWE since they were exposed and that they both made a full recovery. 

WWE shares rose 2.1% to $38.26 at last check.