ANAHEIM (CNS) - Disneyland announced today it will close till the end of the month to help stem the tide of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Anaheim theme park had been temporarily exempted under a new state guidelines barring public gatherings of 250 or more people announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
"While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort, after carefully reviewing the guidelines of (Newsom's) executive order and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, beginning the morning of March 14 through the end of the month," Disneyland announced in a statement.
The theme park's hotels will remain open until Monday so guests can have time to make travel arrangements. Downtown Disney will remain open.
Disneyland's employees will continue to get paid during the furlough.
Newsom praised Disneyland for making "the right call in the interest of public health."
The governor added, "Expect more announcements like this shortly."
The theme park says it will "work with guests who wish to change or cancel their visits, and will provide refunds to those who have hotel bookings during this closure period."
Guests can get questions answered or reservations canceled by calling 714-520-5050.
Other major Southland theme parks such as Magic Mountain, Universal Studios Hollywood and Knott's Berry Farm have not announced closures.
Newsom said he opted not to include the venues in his mandate due to the "complexity of their unique circumstances," but discussions were ongoing.
"I had a conversation with (Disney Executive Chairman) Bob Iger yesterday," Newsom said. "We've been meeting with our partners in our tribal nations. We've been meeting with leaders of those respective industries. The complexity of their unique circumstance requires additional conversation, different kind of engagement, and in real time, we're in those conversations and engagement.
"The reason we didn't do it is because of the complexity of their unique circumstances, but I assure you, we are moving quickly and effectively toward a resolution in those spaces."
Newsom said officials from the various types of venues raised "legitimate concerns" that prompted him to exempt them from his public- gathering ban.
On its website, Disneyland officials said they were monitoring the coronavirus situation and continuing to "implement preventive measures" in line with health officials' recommendations.
"For example, we have added additional hand sanitizers throughout the park, increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfection in high guest- contact areas and are providing information about good hygiene practices and illness prevention to our guests and cast members," according to the site.
On its website, Universal Studios Hollywood notes that it has enhanced "already aggressive cleaning protocols -- and applying stringent guidelines for cleaning all areas of our destination and CityWalk. This includes our rides and attractions, our restaurants and dining areas, our merchandise locations and more."