The Walt Disney Co. and Universal Studios on Thursday responded to a report that a man who was infected with the novel coronavirus — and later died — visited both Florida theme parks before they closed their doors.
According to TMZ, a 34-year-old California man tested positive for the virus two weeks after he visited Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. The man died due to complications from coronavirus and pneumonia, his family told TMZ. He was in Florida from March 2-9, visiting the parks later in the trip before he felt ill and flew back to Los Angeles.
“Our thoughts are with this gentleman and his family. As is always the case, we will take our guidance from local health officials,” Alyson Lundell, spokeswoman for Universal Orlando, told The Hollywood Reporter.
A Disney spokesperson said, “We offer our deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Ghazarian. We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and remain in regular contact with health agencies for information and guidance.”
On March 12, Disney and Universal Studios announced they would close all North American parks and, in Disney’s case, its park in Paris. The rest of the parks around the globe had already closed due to the outbreak. Other theme parks in California, such as Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags, also closed.
Disney this week also announced it would close all its North American retail stores, effective Tuesday. Disney closed Downtown Disney in Anaheim and Disney Springs in Orlando. Disney hotels in Walt Disney World and its Vero Beach Resort will also close by Friday.