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Credit: RCFD

Disney Firefights Are Experiencing A COVID Outbreak & Seeking Workers Comp Support

It’s no secret that Florida is under a lot of pressure as the number of COVID cases continues to reach record-breaking numbers. We previously shared that Orange County (where most of Walt Disney World is located) is under a state of emergency due to the rise in COVID cases. As of recently, Disney has required Guests to return to wearing masks indoors. They have even begun requiring Cast Members to be vaccinated. Now, we’re learning a little insight into a spread of COVID cases that is hitting the Reedy Creek Fire Department. This is the fire department that serves the Walt Disney World area and Guests.

Photo Credit: RCDF

As reported by OrlandoSentinel: “A COVID-19 outbreak at the Reedy Creek Fire Department — the agency that responds to emergency calls across Walt Disney World Resort — has highlighted the lack of support at the department for first responders who are exposed to or contract the virus, members of the agency’s union said. Jon Shirey, president of the Reedy Creek Firefighters Association, said contact tracing revealed 90 firefighters and paramedics of the department’s 205-person staff have been exposed to the coronavirus in the past two weeks after two employees tested positive at the end of July, and so far 10 have contracted COVID. At least two of those who tested positive were already vaccinated, he said.”

Credit: RCFD

According to the union, the fire department responsible for the Walt Disney World area is not providing workers’ compensation for COVID-related illness. Instead, the firefighters are having to use their own personal leave during the COVID quarantine. With that, many firefighters are coming to work even with potential COVID symptoms to keep from having to use their personal leave even though employees are required to report a positive COVID test. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation is denying benefits because it’s almost impossible to prove where the COVID exposure occurred.

On the flip side, Eryka Washington, communications director for the Reedy Creek Improvement District, said the COVID cases and exposures cited by the union were incorrect but added the district cannot release its numbers.

Credit: OrlandoSentinel

To view the full story, visit OrlandoSentinel.com. We hope this workers’ compensation is figured out quickly so firefighters can leave their position when sick rather than spreading COVID further to their fellow firefighters and those Walt Disney World travelers they are assisting.

About Mike and Jamie Sylvester

We are Disney nerds. Two kids at heart who love the magic and the memories of Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with Disney Vacation Club and runDisney events in particular. We enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways, and geek out over the planning of such events. From lodging to dining we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Mike’s frivolous Disney goal is to acquire a magic band of every style while Jamie’s goal is to experience as many Disney desserts as possible. There isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us. We have been married for 18 years and are blessed with a daughter and a son who have already learned the importance of planning ahead! As a family, we thoroughly enjoy the magic and the memories at Walt Disney World and are here to help others experience the magic as well.