The Journal Gazette
Thursday, May 28, 2020 1:00 am

Coronavirus roundup

SeaWorld, Disney set reopening plans

Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – SeaWorld and Walt Disney World will reopen in Orlando, Florida, in June and July after months of inactivity, under plans approved Wednesday by a city task force.

The proposals will be sent to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for final approval.

The plan calls for SeaWorld to open to the public June 11. Disney plans a tiered reopening, with Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opening July 11, followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15. Last week, Universal Orlando presented its plan to reopen June 5. That plan also has been approved by the Orlando task force, which sent its recommendation to the governor.

1 in 5 would refuse vaccine

Only about half of Americans say they would get a COVID-19 vaccine if the scientists working furiously to create one succeed.

The new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found 31% simply weren't sure if they'd get vaccinated. Another 1 in 5 said they'd refuse.

Health experts already worry about the whiplash if vaccine promises like President Donald Trump's goal of a 300 million-dose stockpile by January fail. 

Among Americans who say they wouldn't get vaccinated, 7 in 10 worry about safety.

Drone allowed to drop off PPE

One of the first personal protective equipment drone drops in the U.S. took place this week.

The drone was launched by Novant Health Inc., which operates 15 hospitals and close to 700 different facilities in the southeastern U.S. The health care system said it hopes to use regular flights to deliver masks, gowns, gloves and other protective gear.

In the future, the company hopes to use them for testing, drug trials and vaccine distribution.

The FAA usually requires that drones operate within sight of their operators, which limits the distance they can fly.

Millions stolen in false claims

Washington's race to help newly laid-off residents as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the economy left it vulnerable to fraud scams, and last week officials hinted at the scope of the damage done: hundreds of millions of dollars paid out in fake claims. Much of it apparently went to a West African fraud ring using identities stolen in prior data breaches, such as the massive 2017 Equifax breach.

State and federal authorities have tried to claw back as much money as possible and say they have blocked hundreds of millions more from being paid out, but Washington's experience is nevertheless a cautionary tale.

By late last week, attacks had been detected in at least nine states, most recently Ohio and Hawaii. In many cases, the fraudsters have used identities of people who haven't lost their jobs – so they aren't likely to immediately notice someone else filing in their name.

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