Will Disney staff be quarantined at NBA restart in Orlando?

Disney staff quarantined NBA
Gerardo Mora/Getty Images
0 Comments

A “significant” number of NBA players are asking hard questions about the NBA’s restart plan in Orlando. There are questions about how this impacts the Black Lives Matters movement. Other players, such as Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony, want to know the details of what they can and can’t do in the campus/”bubble.”

Among those questions:

Will Disney staff be quarantined at NBA restart in Orlando?

Probably not. Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports asked that question and was told by a Disney union representative and was told it is “unlikely” staff would have daily tests or be quarantined.

Will the food servers be tested every day? The housekeepers? The custodians? More broadly: What’s the point of quarantining for several weeks and doing daily tests for 22 NBA teams if Disney staff won’t be doing the same?…

Disney workers have not been told to quarantine on campus, according to Eric Clinton, president of Disney’s labor union, United Here Local 362, which represents custodians and ride operators. Clinton told NBC Sports that it was “unlikely” that staffers would be subject to daily testing and quarantine measures like NBA players and team staffers.

That turned the heads of a few NBA players, people already being told they could be in Orlando from 35 days to three months.

Friend of this site Keith Smith — a former Walt Disney World employee — spoke to a source at Disney who said nothing has been decided yet.

Smith added that for an hourly employee at Disney and because of their pay rules/structure, being in the bubble would be very lucrative, leading to plenty of people volunteering.

Most likely, however, Disney staff will not be in the bubble. The league does not want to make the bubble bigger and that staff, which will have limited contact with players (if any), will be tested and have protocol.

This Disney staff would have little to no contact with players may not need to be quarantined. What studies have shown is that person-to-surface-to-person transmission of the coronavirus is rare. The vast majority of the time, the virus spreads via person-to-person interaction, which is why the league wants to limit the number of people interacting with players (which is one reason players’ families would not be allowed in the bubble until after the end of the first round of the playoffs).

The players’ concerns tie into their desire to have more freedom of movement in the bubble and more say about the restart and the process.

Consider this a reminder that everything about the NBA restart is written in pencil, not ink. Everything is still being negotiated, and everything potentially is in flux (such as the date games start). That includes the basic format of the restart itself.

Disney can find a way to make what the NBA and its players want work for them. The question is, what does the NBA want?

That said, the optics of having the players quarantined while the Disney staff goes home every night is not good for the league.