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Walt Disney World reaches testing deal with entertainers

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The Walt Disney World union for the park’s entertainers on Wednesday came to an agreement with the company to allow for a Florida state-run drive-thru COVID-19 test site for workers and the public.

“We have been consistent that testing is an important part of ensuring a safe workplace for Equity performers, and today, I’m pleased to see that Disney World has agreed,” Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity Association, said in a statement.

Previously, Disney announced a recall in late June for actors and performers to come back from rehearsal. The union made a public statement requesting testing for entertainers, which prompted Disney to rescind the recall for union members.

The union represents about 750 Disney World employees. It is unclear how many entertainers would be returning to the park following the agreement.

Disney officials said there would be a dedicated testing lane for its employees along with their families, with reservations for COVID-19 tests beginning Thursday.

In a statement, Disney added the establishment of the drive-thru tests was not a response to the union’s demands, The Associated Press reported.

“The Florida Division of Emergency Management will operate the location, which is available to cast members and their immediate families, as well as Florida residents,” the statement said. “Our actions support all cast and our community at large.”

In late March, Disney World in Orlando, Fla., closed due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns. The park reopened mid-July with revamped measures to allow guests to enjoy the park while following mask mandates and social distancing measures. 

Tags American culture Coronavirus COVID-19 testing Florida The Walt Disney Company United States Walt Disney Parks and Resorts walt disney world

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