Florida official confirms WWE deemed 'essential business'
A memo sent on Thursday included “Employees at a professional sports and media production with a national audience — including any athletes, entertainers, production team, executive team, media team and any others necessary to facilitate including services supporting such production — only if the location is closed to the general public” to Florida’s list of essential services.
At a press conference today, Orange County (Florida) mayor Jerry Demings was asked how WWE is still able to run shows despite the state’s stay-at-home order.
“I think initially there was a review that was done and they were not initially deemed an essential business. With some conversation with the governor’s office regarding the governor’s order, they were deemed an essential business. And so therefore, they were allowed to remain open,” Demings said.
Demings said that — because of HIPAA laws — he doesn’t know the specifics associated with the person in WWE who tested positive for COVID-19. “But that’s like a little family,” Demings said. “A small family of professional athletes that wrestle. And if one of my family members tested positive in my house, that would be concerning to me. We would have to make some provisions in my house to make sure that the rest of us not get infected. So I would assume that — from a business perspective — the WWE is doing that type of analysis of its own family.”
The person in WWE who tested positive for COVID-19 is an on-air talent but not a member of the in-ring roster. Over the weekend, WWE issued a statement about the positive test: “A WWE employee has tested positive for COVID-19. We believe this matter is low risk to WWE talent and staff, as the individual and a roommate became symptomatic in the days following exposure to two people working in acute health care on the evening of March 26, after WWE’s TV production on a closed set was already complete. The employee had no contact with anyone from WWE since being exposed to those two individuals, is doing well, and made a complete recovery.”
WWE is resuming live television broadcasts from the Performance Center in Orlando, Florida starting with tonight’s Raw.