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Disneyland Won't Be Reopening In Mid-July After All

There's been a significant increase in COVID-19 cases across California, including in Orange County.

Last updated on June 24, 2020, at 9:41 p.m. ET

Posted on June 24, 2020, at 9:23 p.m. ET

Jeff Gritchen / The Orange County Register via AP

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Disneyland will not be reopening in mid-July as the company had planned, a decision that was announced Wednesday as California has seen a troubling spike in the number of COVID-19 infections.

Disney had previously planned on a phased reopening of Disneyland and California Adventure in Anaheim, with new restrictions such as reservations and limited attendance as a precaution against spreading the coronavirus.

But just two weeks after announcing its plans — which came after a four-month-long shutdown — Disney said it would delay reopening, adding that state officials would not be providing guidelines until after July 4.

"Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials," the company said in a statement.

It's unclear how long the delay will last, however, and company officials said they had yet to receive guidance from state officials. California is allowing theme parks to reopen under stage three of its phased plan, but for now the state remains in stage two as coronavirus cases rise. Though the company had begun recalling theme park workers in anticipation of reopening, many employees said they feared it was too soon.

"Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date," the Disney statement read.

David Mcnew / Getty Images

An employee cleans behind the closed gates of Disneyland, March 14.

The decision comes as state and local officials have noted a significant increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

In the past week, California has seen an average of more than 4,500 daily cases, an increase of 62% compared to two weeks ago.

The daily number of COVID-19 cases has also been increasing in Disneyland's backyard, with 354 new cases reported in Orange County on Wednesday.

The increase has prompted California's Gov. Gavin Newsom to require face masks across the state, including in counties that earlier had only recommended residents wear.

In Orange County, officials have said they will not enforce the state mandate.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported the increase in coronavirus hospitalizations has been driven by just four state counties — Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange counties.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.