NEWS: CDC Upgrades Disney World Counties to Highest COVID-19 Risk Category

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to change and develop, AllEars will be bringing you the latest relevant news that could affect a theme park visit.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an ever-evolving situation that continues to affect the world.

COVID sign in Disney Springs

Recently, we’ve reported on the rise of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida as well as the spread of the BA.2 and the BA.2.12.1 subvariants, and we questioned whether a summer surge of COVID-19 could affect Disney World, where face coverings are no longer required for guests. Now the CDC has changed the risk levels for the two counties Disney World resides in, and here’s what you need to know.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classify community COVID-19 levels into three levels of risk, with designated categories of low, medium, and high risk. While low risk recommends community members stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if symptoms arise, a designation of high risk recommends that people wear a mask indoors in public as well as take precautions if at risk for severe illness.

©Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Although the community level was designated as “medium” for Orange County, Florida (one of the counties in which Disney World is located) just a few days ago, today the community level has been upgraded to “high.”

©Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Osceola County, Florida, the other county where Disney World resides, has also been upgraded to “high.” The CDC recommends that people in high risk community locations wear a mask indoors in public, stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines, and take precautions if at high risk.

©Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Disney World does not currently require guests to wear masks anywhere on property, but considering how often they’ve altered their mask policy in the past, it’s possible that they could change it again.


We recently reported several experts predicting that Florida could experience a surge in COVID-19 this summer, along with warnings that this may result in a rise in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. This is in line with the pattern observed in the past two summers in 2020 and 2021.

Former face mask signage at Typhoon Lagoon

Medical experts have also predicted that because many people have been vaccinated, boosted, or infected by the main omicron strain, infections could be milder than previous COVID-19 waves. The latest wave has been predicted to swell in June, with a possible continuation of the surge in July as well.

Health and safety signage

Experts recommend stocking up on COVID-19 tests, testing when exhibiting symptoms, and taking precautions, like wearing a mask indoors.

©New York Times

If you want to read more about summer travel and the current status of COVID-19 in Florida and the U.S., visit our links below:

COVID-19, a potential summer surge, and Disney World: What You need to know.

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3 Replies to “NEWS: CDC Upgrades Disney World Counties to Highest COVID-19 Risk Category”

  1. Yep, just got back from our dream Disney vacation and the whole family got covid. No one wears a mask. You can see people visible sick, coughing and sneezing and not caring. Don’t go till they reinstate the mask mandate unless you want to get covid. Because masks only work so well when you’re the only ones wearing them.

  2. We just got back from a ten day trip to Disney World—took lots of precautions and still…got COVID. My son came down with it half way through our trip. No COVID tests in Disney at all—so be sure to bring your own and bring cold medicine too (just in case—hotels had none.)
    I will warn everyone that people were openly coughing and sneezing everywhere! We kept hearing people say “don’t worry, it’s allergies”—It was definitely not allergies. I was more horrified at the very open coughing without even covering mouths.
    Anyway, there is a surge there right now. I doubt anyone will hear about it so, I am warning you. A family member went to Disney a few weeks ago and didn’t hear much coughing or sneezing so, I’m thinking it’s a surge now. The Memorial Day crowds—it was inevitable.
    On another note—The new Guardians of the Galaxy ride was awesome! We went opening night and it was very fun!