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Universal Orlando requiring COVID-19 vaccines or weekly testing for staff

Photo:Universal Orlando Resort
Photo:Universal Orlando Resort

Starting next month, Universal Orlando employees will be required to be fully vaccinated or tested weekly -- an effort to protect employees and guests from COVID-19.

The policy changes affect just team members and starting February 9 will require them to be fully vaccinated or tested every seven days.

In a statement, Universal Orlando says the new policy is an effort to comply with federally mandated OSHA regulations. The theme park and resort operator says it will initially provide free testing on-site for team members.

Back in November, Disney paused its vaccine mandate for employees after Governor Ron DeSantis signed a package of bills into law banning businesses from enforcing such mandates.

Universal Orlando says it will monitor legal action involving these regulations and adapt its policy accordingly. The company says a majority of its staff reported having a COVID-19 vaccination.

Brendan Byrne is Central Florida Public Media's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing the organization's internship program.

Byrne also hosts Central Florida Public Media's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.