California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that new guidelines on theme parks and team sports events are coming tomorrow.
“We are going to break up the theme parks,” the governor said in his COVID-19 and wildfires update this afternoon. “Not just one or two brands, it is many different parts of the theme park industry.”
Teasing out the results that Bob Iger and Jeff Shell have been seeking for months, Newsom said that the state’s Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly will reveal the new guidelines on Tuesday at noon PT.
Whatever form those procedures will take, Newsom said he remains “stubborn on a health-first data-driven process that is done with our eyes widen open … so we avoid any further increase in transmissions.”
Last week, Gnaly addressed the contentious theme park issue: “It will come out when we’re ready. We are working closely with our industry partners.” Ghaly continued: “We will continue to lead with public health and look at our data … slow and stringent, moving forward.”
The words and tone did not go down well with theme park owners that Deadline spoke with at the time. Disney and NBCUniversal, which run Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, respectively, did not respond to request for comment on today’s news.
Still, this upcoming latest move for the shuttered Disneyland, Universal Hollywood, Six Flags and others comes as Disney and the Comcast-owned company are severely tightening belts and cutting workforce as profits dive. Newsom’s move Tuesday also comes as the Coalition of Resort Unions sent a letter to the governor to unchain the gates at Disneyland when Orange County moves into the “orange tier” based on COVID-19 infection rates. It is currently in the “red tier.”
The latest data has Orange County with one new death from the coronavirus and 203 new confirmed cases, for a total of 57,071 cases over the course of the pandemic so far.
Actually, infection rates and potential vaccines made up the majority of the governor’s remarks on Monday. Lamenting the new state COVID-19 caseload of 3,474 and a seven-day average of 2,966, Newsom said that the seven-day positivity rate is 2.4%. “We’re seeing a decline in the rate of decline of hospitalizations,” the governor said, viewing the current cycle as a second wave.
Coming off remarks October 16 that he is holding to a further re-opening for California “methodically and stubbornly,” Newsom started today’s press talking about vaccine trials and the state’s scientific safety working group. Using the phrase “bottom line” repeatedly, he also cautioned citizens not to expect a COVID-19 vaccine to be landing anytime soon this year and will be “limited” to essential workers, first responders and high-risk groups when it does arrive.
Looking at the developments coming out of Big Pharma’s Pfizer and Moderna, there will be around 45 million doses by the end of the year, which would be “1.5 to 2 million tops” in the Golden State when you consider the current protocols involve two doses per person, Newsom said. More realistically, when you take storage needs into account as well, most people may be looking getting their vaccine shots in mid-2021, he added. “This vaccine will proceed at the speed of trust,” the Governor went on to say, with swipes at unnamed others who play fast and loose with facts.
As he always does, with a display of the “correct use” of mask wearing, Newsom strongly advocating the wearing of masks, social distancing, staying within your household and “accountability” among all Californians. He also unveiled an update for next Monday on the state’s increased testing strategy that has come out of a panel he put together earlier this summer.
Taking a swipe at “TV punditry,” Newsom today also made a point of repeating that the “sober reality” was that the coronavirus will be with the Golden State, America (regardless of who the POTUS is) and the world, even with the widespread distribution of a vaccine.