Disney on March 16 announced that it will temporarily shut down all its stores in North America as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Disney released a statement where it said that it will be closing down all of its operated and owned locations at Anaheim and Orlando beginning March 17. Disney, however, added that individual tenants will make decisions on whether to continue or adjust operations.
The statement further added, "Disney owned and operated hotels at Walt Disney World Resort and Disney's Vero Beach Resort will close at 5 pm on Friday, March 20. This will give guests the ability to make other arrangements. We will continue to monitor the situation and maintain regular contact with the appropriate officials and health experts."
The recent development came days after Disney announced that it will close down its theme parks in Florida and Paris beginning March 15 to prevent further escalation of coronavirus cases in the United States and Europe. Disney had also announced that it suspended all new departures of its four cruise ships from March 14.
Around 3,782 people have been infected in the United States by the virus so far. According to reports, the United States has recorded 69 deaths due to novel coronavirus in the last three months and has successfully treated 73 patients. Meanwhile, in Canada, there are 329 active cases, which includes the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who tested positive on March 13.
The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has claimed more than 6,500 lives across the world and has infected over 1,69,000 people globally since it first broke out in December 2019. China is the most affected country in the world as experts believe that the virus originated from a seafood market in Wuhan city, the epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally. Italy, Iran, Spain and South Korea are other highly impacted countries where a combined death toll from the disease stands at 2,900.