This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared pandemic status for the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Public events and schools announced measures to contain the outbreak, including campus closures, athletic games postponements, and shutdowns.
BREAKING NEWS UPDATE
DISNEYLAND CALIFORNIA CLOSED
Disney announced March 12 it would close both of its California parks temporarily due to the outbreak. This the fourth time in history that Disneyland in Anaheim, California fully suspended operations (previously shut due to 9/11 attacks, morning after JFK’s assassination, and after the Northridge earthquake). The park is scheduled to remain closed until the end of the month.
Disney said in a statement, “While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort, after carefully reviewing the guidelines of the Governor of California’s executive order and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, beginning the morning of March 14 through the end of the month. The Hotels of Disneyland Resort will remain open until Monday, March 16 to give guests the ability to make necessary travel arrangements; Downtown Disney will remain open. We will monitor the ongoing situation and follow the advice and guidance of federal and state officials and health agencies. Disney will continue to pay cast members during this time.”
Schools Closing Doors
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that schools and businesses should consider a closure if COVID-19 became a pandemic. Schools across the country have taken note. As of this week, CNN reports that more than 400,000 US public school students will be out of school due to school shutdowns.
For higher education, multiple universities across the US have announced their plans to keep campuses safe. For schools like Harvard, students are encouraged to leave campus as soon as possible and not return after spring breaks. Any remaining in-person classes and meetings are encouraged to be conducted virtually or postponed.
As for schools serving K-12 students, measures vary depending on a district’s location. Many are calling for schools to shut down temporarily and opt for virtual and online lessons and tutoring to keep both students and staff safe during the coronavirus outbreak.
NCAA March Madness is officially canceled.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) announced its decision to postpone its season indefinitely. MLB is suspending current spring training games and postponing the start of the 2020 season by two weeks.
NASCAR will host races as planned but will go on without fans.
Many have also speculated as to whether or not the upcoming summer Olympics will proceed as planned in Japan starting July 24. The International Olympic Committee stated that the games are still on, but there’s still time to postpone or cancel the event.
More Coronavirus Shutdowns
Music festivals and events are being canceled in order to prevent community spread through large, public gatherings. The list includes:
- Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida
- SXSW festival in Austin, Texas
- RuPaul’s DragCon in Los Angeles
- Coachella (postponed)
- Stagecoach (postponed)
- New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (temporarily closed)
- Broadway shows suspended until next month
- 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Disney parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai, China have also been shut down momentarily, along with the parks in Japan.