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There will be no more trainers riding dolphins in SeaWorld.

Corona Economics

SeaWorld will furlough 90% of its workforce with no pay

The length of that furlough period remains unknown.

SeaWorld is announcing it will furlough 90% of its workforce starting April 1 as the state continues to feel the economic effects of the social slowdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the company’s most recently available annual report, SeaWorld had “approximately 4,700 full-time employees and approximately 12,000 part-time employees” as of Dec. 2018.

Those workers will not be paid for the duration of the furlough, according to the company. The length of that furlough period remains unknown.

That information comes from an SEC filing highlighted by the Orlando Business Journal. The park closed earlier this month as federal officials gave increasingly strict guidelines regarding larger gatherings.

Originally, SeaWorld targeted an April 1 reopen date. But that’s become increasingly untenable as confirmed cases in the state continue to rise.

As of Friday morning, officials had identified 2,900 positive tests. That’s double the level reported just three days prior.

SeaWorld announced its furlough decision in a March 27 SEC filing, according to the Orlando Business Journal. The outlet also reported on a separate filing March 23, where SeaWorld acknowledged it would fall short of earnings goals.

“The company has taken meaningful actions to significantly reduce, defer and/or eliminate costs and capital expenditures. [SeaWorld] continues to evaluate all material elements of its business to further reduce cash outflows while its parks are closed,” the filing reads.

Despite President Donald Trump’s repeated assertions that anyone who wants a test can have one, states and hospitals and testing sites still do not have a sufficient number of supplies weeks into the outbreak.

Without an accurate count of who has the virus — and without vaccine or reliable way to treat those symptoms — health officials have urged Americans to cut down on social interactions until the virus’s spread is under control.

But Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis have hinted in recent days they may shift from a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s unclear whether DeSantis would pull back on social distancing recommendations in large counties such as Orange, where Sea World is located.

That county is fifth among the state’s 67 counties in terms of positive tests as of Friday morning.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

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