Many of the Walt Disney World workers who will be cleaning hotel rooms, preparing meals and providing other services for NBA players confined to a “bubble” on the resort’s property will be commuting from some of the hottest coronavirus infection zones in greater Orlando.
Of the 20 Central Florida ZIP codes with the most Disney workers represented by union Unite Here, half rank in the region’s top 30 ZIPs for confirmed COVID-19 cases, an Orlando Sentinel analysis shows. More than 8,600 Disney workers live in those ZIP code areas.
The 32824 ZIP code that includes Belle Isle has 476 coronavirus cases, the second-most of the seven-county area analyzed by the Sentinel, and is home to 712 unionized Disney workers. The Kissimmee-area ZIP code 34741, which has reported 467 cases, the fourth most in the region, is home to 1,145 workers.
Unite Here officials, who represent nearly 30,000 workers at the parks, say the planned procedures will keep their workers safe during the anticipated three months of NBA play at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex as well as the Major League Soccer tournament set to start there next week.
“We’re confident that we negotiated an agreement that provides the maximum safety possible in the less than ideal world we’re present in,” said Jeremy Haicken, president of Unite Here Local 737, which represents 19,000 food and beverage workers and housekeepers.