California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly hosted a video conference Tuesday to provide an update on COVID-19. It’s been over 6 months since closures began earlier this year. Approximately 26 minutes in, Brady McDonald of the Orange County Register was one of the first reporters to ask a question, “How long do you anticipate it’ll take to iron out the guidelines with the industry stakeholders and second, what are the major sticking points on the theme park reopening guidelines?”
Dr. Ghaly responded, “Theme parks continue to be a high priority for the administration, and recognizing their role as both part of California life, but also in employment opportunities for thousands of Californians. As we do with every sector, we don’t take that lightly. We’re working closely with a number of the direct operators of theme parks, and also the overall agency or organization representing theme parks, as well as the labor partners that represent the workers and ensuring that we move forward together in a low risk and safest way possible. I’m not sure when those conversations wrap up. I will tell you that they will wrap up as soon as we come to really hear the industry and understand some of the concerns, and we continue to look at the data and information that we have. So, no promise of a specific date, but I will say as soon as possible.”
“Some of the important issues that we’re looking at are obviously not just how the operations in the theme park go. I think there’s so many important, thoughtful people who are working in many of our sectors across California who have been thinking about this with a great deal of passion and energy, not just so that they can reopen, but also so that they can make sure that staff and patrons alike are in the safest position that they can be. But broader than that, really looking at the impact that the sector of theme parks really has on broader communities, on the surrounding neighborhoods and the workplaces and the industry around, and how this isn’t just about one piece, its about the entire community and having dialog with not just those operators, but others who both have a stake in what happens with this guidance, but also have a responsibility to reduce the risk for so many people from California who might visit a theme park down in the future.”
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