How amusement parks, Broadway, museums are responding to coronavirus

(NEW YORK) — In the midst of the novel coronavirus outbreak, highly trafficked spaces like theme parks and tourist destinations are taking extra precautions and even closing their doors.

The novel coronavirus has now infected nearly 120,000 people worldwide, mostly in China.

COVID-19 was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December and has since spread to every continent except Antarctica.

Here’s how some museums, attractions and amusement parks are preparing for the potential outbreak:


The Louvre

The Louvre in Paris is one of the popular tourist hubs that is limiting the number of people in the museum. They are only allowing certain groups, including pre-booked e-tickets and those with free admission into the attraction.

According to their website, these measures have been taken to “help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago said it is remaining open, but monitoring the situation and increasing cleaning practices, according to a statement issued to ABC News’ Good Morning America.

“We are monitoring the situation closely. The safety of our visitors and staff is our first priority and we will continue to update our community as needed,” the museum said. “No loans or performances have been affected at this point. The museum has suspended travel to medium and high risk locations (as defined by CDC), and we are encouraging staff to reschedule non-essential international travel.”



The show must go on — for now. Broadway shows are still happening in full force.

The Broadway League, which is in charge of shows across North America, issued a statement saying they have “significantly increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting in all public and backstage areas beyond the standard daily schedule, and we have added alcohol-based sanitizer dispensers for public use in the lobby of every theatre.”

Amusement Parks

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, is operating on its regular schedule with a heightened awareness at the parks.

Disney Theme Parks and Water Parks issued a statement on their FAQ page regarding the virus.

The company cites quick responses to spills and frequent disinfection as some of the ways they are taking precautions: “As part of our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our Cast Members, Guests and the larger community, we are carefully monitoring the situation and are in regular contact with health agencies for information and guidance. We continue to implement preventive measures in line with their recommendations and the input of our medical teams.”

SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando

SeaWorld in Orlando issued a statement to Good Morning America as they are open for business but monitoring the situation:

“SeaWorld employs an experienced health and safety team and has protocols in place. We enforce appropriate sanitation standards across our parks. We will continue to monitor the situation for changes, collaborate with health officials and take recommended steps to ensure the health and safety needs of guests, ambassadors and animals are met.”

Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando is operating on its regular schedule and said it is reinforcing health and hygiene procedures.

“We are reviewing and enhancing our already aggressive cleaning protocols. And, for the comfort and convenience of our Guests, we are increasing the number of hand sanitizer units in our parks. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and be ready to act as needed,” the park wrote in a statement to GMA via Twitter.

Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea

Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea closed on Feb. 29 as a “precautionary measure,” according to the park, and are set to reopen on March 16.

Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland closed on Jan. 26 and has yet to set a date to reopen.

According to its website, the parks “are in close contact with health authorities and the government about the situation.”

Shanghai Disneyland

Meanwhile, Shanghai Disneyland will partially resume operations on March 9, according to an update on its website, after being closed since late January.

What you should know

Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.

People with underlying chronic diseases or who are immunosuppressed are at risk of having a more severe reaction/worse symptoms to the novel coronavirus.

ABC News’ chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said, “In general, open air space activities would be theoretically preferable to activities with less ventilation, however, with any high-density activity, hand hygiene and prolonged close contact will always be factors.”

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

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