On Friday, the confirmed number of new COVID-19 cases rose by nearly 69,000 across the United States on Friday, according to Reuters, which is a new record high — and the third consecutive day of new record highs.
And yet, Disney is barrelling ahead with plans to reopen its theme parks in Orlando, Florida, a COVID-19 hot zone. Workers and public health experts are protesting, but the company's chief medical officer says it'll all be fine.
A total of eight U.S. states – Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin – also reached records for single-day infections.
In Texas, another hot zone, Governor Greg Abbott warned on Friday he may have to impose new clampdowns if the state cannot stem its record-setting caseloads and hospitalizations through masks and social distancing.
"If we don't adopt this best practice it could lead to a shutdown of business," the Republican governor told local KLBK-TV in Lubbock, adding it was the last thing he wanted.
California announced on Friday the state will release up to 8,000 inmates early from prisons to slow the spread of COVID-19 inside the facilities. At San Quentin State Prison, outside San Francisco, half of the facility's roughly 3,300 prisoners have tested positive for the virus.
The Walt Disney Co. (DIS.N) said the theme parks in Orlando would open on Saturday to a limited number of guests who along with employees would be required to wear masks and undergo temperature checks. The park also cancelled parades, firework displays and events that typically draw crowds.