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Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California health officials on Tuesday told theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood that they can reopen once daily coronavirus cases in their respective counties drop below one per 100,000 people.

Why it matters: Disney and Universal, both of which hoped to reopen when their counties reached "moderate" spread, have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Deadline reported that Universal Studios Hollywood laid off over 2,200 employees since July and Disney laid off 28,000 employees in September.

What they're saying: "There is a path forward. We don’t know when, but we know how" the parks will reopen, said California health secretary Mark Ghaly.

  • "We have proven that we can responsibly reopen, with science-based health and safety protocols strictly enforced at our theme park properties around the world," president of Disneyland Resort, Ken Potrock, responded in a statement on Tuesday.
    • "Nevertheless, the State of California continues to ignore this fact, instead mandating arbitrary guidelines that it knows are unworkable and that hold us to a standard vastly different from other reopened businesses and state-operated facilities."
  • "Pushing us into Tier Four behind other businesses that have already reopened makes no sense," president and COO of Universal Studios Hollywood, Karen Irwin, said in a statement, according to CNBC. "...Our employees are ready to go back to work and the fact that they won’t be able to do so until well into next year is shameful."

Orange County, where both Disneyland parks are located, has 4.6 cases per 100,000 people, while Los Angeles County, where Universal Studios Hollywood is, has 10.1 cases per 100,000 people, CNBC reports.

Go deeper

Nov 29, 2020 - Health

New York City to reopen public schools with weekly testing

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio in New York on Nov. 28. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

Some New York City schools will be allowed to reopen for in-person learning as early as Dec. 7, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday.

The state of play: De Blasio said schools will no longer be forced to shutter when the city hits a 3% COVID-19 test positivity rate, but he did not specify what the new threshold will be. The school district will mandate weekly tests for 20% of children in each school, and students will not be tested before they return.

Nov 29, 2020 - Sports

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with all Denver Broncos quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground, and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Nov 29, 2020 - Health

Fauci warns Thanksgiving travel will likely make COVID-19 surge worse

NIAID director Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that the U.S. could see in the coming weeks "a surge superimposed upon that surge that we're already in," as COVID-19 cases are expected to rise after many Americans traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Why it matters: Cases and hospitalizations are already skyrocketing nationwide. Governors and health departments in some states have warned that the increase in cases could overwhelm hospital systems.