As theme parks revise pandemic guidelines, Florida reports 4,623 new COVID-19 cases

Temperature screenings phasing out at Disney, Universal

Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort announced Wednesday that changes are coming to Florida theme parks with renewed guidance from health officials.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort announced Wednesday that changes are coming to Florida theme parks with renewed guidance from health officials.

Starting Saturday, Disney will no longer require temperature checks of its cast members, while guests visiting the parks will no longer be required to go through temperature screening starting May 16.

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Following Disney’s announcement, Universal said its guests will no longer have to go through these screenings starting Thursday. There will also be a change in social distancing guidelines in the parks with markers moved from 6 feet to 3 feet.

Disney and Universal updated the pandemic requirements a couple days after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order that suspended all local emergency orders related to COVID-19.

“We need a new construct for these emergency powers that have been used throughout the country — lesser so, obviously, from the state of Florida’s perspective — but certainly we’ve had local governments do it,” DeSantis said.

The Centers for Disease Control released final technical guidelines Wednesday to ship operators for trial runs, requiring each practice cruise to meet at least 10% capacity for the two to seven days it will run. According to the Associated Press, this is a step to resume cruises in U.S. waters possibly by July. Cruises in Europe have been operating since August 2020.

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[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida sees 4,414 new COVID-19 cases as President Biden pushes for more walk-up vaccine sites]

Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on May 6.


The Florida Department of Health reported 4,623 new cases on Thursday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,258,433 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.


Florida reported 70 new virus-related deaths Thursday, bringing the death toll to 36,254. This number included the 708 non-residents who died in Florida.


As of Thursday afternoon, there were currently 2,915 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since last March 2020, 91,652 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 227 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Thursday.

Positivity rate

The percent of positive results was 4.99% Wednesday out of 92,590 tests. The numbers reported daily by the state reflect test results from the day prior. Health officials say the rate should remain between 5% and 10% to prove a community has a hold of the virus and is curbing infections.


The Florida Department of Health began releasing a daily report in December 2020 on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.

FDOH reports 6,663,786 people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. These individuals either received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or completed a two-shot series.

As of Thursday, 9,101,152 people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Below is the Central Florida region breakdown of new cases, deaths and hospitalizations for Thursday.

CountyCasesNew CasesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths

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About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.