Disneyland Resort in California has been closed for just about ten months to the day, and now it’s being converted into a COVID-19 vaccination site.
The COVID-19 vaccination efforts have been rather slow to roll out, with many jurisdictions across the country still working through their frontline healthcare workers and assisted living facilities before moving on to other high-risk groups. However, as we move into these next phases, it’s become quite clear that we’ll need large-scale vaccination distribution sites to move through these other groups in a timely matter. For southern California, one such site is going to be the Happiest Place On Earth.
“The Disneyland Resort, the largest employer in the heart of Orange County, has stepped up to host the county’s first Super POD site – undertaking a monumental task in our vaccination distribution process,” acting Chairman Andrew Do, First District, said in the Orange County announcement.
The site is scheduled to be operational later in the week and should be able to service ‘thousands’ of people per day. As California is currently lagging behind most states with their rate of distribution, this will be pretty great news for the region. California has had over 2.7 million cases and over 30,000 deaths since the pandemic began.
Disneyland has been the only Disney park to be continuously closed since the pandemic began. Disney World reopened in July and Shanghai Disney in May. The other three parks have gone through various periods of closures depending on their local surges and regulations. California has had one of the strictest and most consistently applied lockdowns of any jurisdiction that houses a Disney park, however, and hasn’t had a chance to reopen fully.
While Walt Disney World is still currently open and accepting guests to their park, there’s a possibility it could become a vaccine site as well. Per the Orlando Sentinel:
Disney World is talking with the state and offering to help the vaccine efforts in any way it can. The company said it is focused on being a good community partner to help with the pandemic.
Like hospitals across the state, Disney World has the capacity to store the vaccine with an ultracold freezer, said state emergency director Jared Moskowitz during a virtual town hall with state Rep Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, last week.
“We have no ultracold freezer storage problems here in the state. There are plenty of hospitals with them. County health departments have them. Some universities have them. Disney World has one,” Moskowitz said, adding his department bought some, too.
There’s no word on where the actual testing will take place. I doubt they would have people enter too deeply into the park itself for this. My best guess is that they would use the parking structure, Downtown Disney, or the plaza between Disneyland and California Adventure. But honestly, these are just guesses, and I’m sure more specific information will become available in time.
Get the vaccine when it’s available, guys! Let’s defeat this thing.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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