Daily Beast - "Workers Reveal Disney Is Covering Up Its COVID Cases"

flynnibus

Premium Member
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I'd argue that it's in the public's (and the guests'!) best interest to know how many cases–among CMs and/or guests–have occurred on property and exactly what was done in each of those instances.

You could try that argument... but why? If they are following the rules, the rules that actually are the portion that react to the cases, can you not accept Disney is no different than every other business? You think every business should post their case history on the door or something?

People need to stop thinking that their belief or desire is the same thing as the law.

People want the counts for curiosity - not because it somehow makes them safer or not. That's what the rules are for.
 

Chi84

Premium Member
I'm the first to step in when people over commit what HIPAA is... but Disney handling the medical history of its employee is a covered case. Disney can't simply goto a team and say "Hey everyone, Joe tested positive, you all need to go home". They would say "You have all been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you all need go to home..."

The employer is obligated to notify the other employees, but they can't involuntarily disclose an individual's medical details to others, so they simply don't acknowledge/disclose who/how... just make sure they trace and communicate with the right people.
All of that is true, but the law involved is not HIPAA. The information is protected against disclosure by Disney under the ADA and possibly other laws, but not by HIPAA. HIPAA protects the covered information from disclosure by health care providers, health plans and health care clearinghouses. I didn't mean to say that Disney isn't prohibited from disclosing the information or that the information is not protected, but HIPAA is not the law that prohibits Disney from disclosing it.

It might be considered overly technical by some, but I feel sorry for HIPAA. People blame it for everything and get its name wrong in the process. I've had people tell me in no uncertain terms that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is in fact the "Health Information Privacy Protection Act," which I guess would make it HIPPA, but would be wrong since the name and applicability of the law are not matters of opinion.
 
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CJR

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure it's clear just yet what exactly the CMs featured in the article are accusing Disney of doing/not doing.

See, that's why I don't like this piece. The writer of the article tries to fill in the blanks and someone gave it a click bait title that the CM's only seem to insinuate, but don't directly say (covering up) , and with no proof other than "watercooler chat" texts between seemingly well informed coworkers and their spouses.

That said, with this all being out, I think Disney would be crazy not to do an internal investigation. A lot is riding on reopening the resort, including the hotels, so they absolutely need to get it right.

Hong Kong already had to close after reopening, we don't want that in California too.

If many CM's feel as strongly as these select few do, absolutely Disney should try to accommodate them.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
All of that is true, but the law involved is not HIPAA. The information is protected against disclosure by Disney under the ADA and possibly other laws, but not by HIPAA. HIPAA protects the covered information from disclosure by health care providers, health plans and health care clearinghouses. I didn't mean to say that Disney isn't prohibited from disclosing the information or that the information is not protected, but HIPAA is not the law that prohibits Disney from disclosing it.

In general, yes I agree with what you are saying.. but there is still applicability to portions of Disney as the Health Plan Sponsor and under Plan Administration they have obligations and restrictions with that even tho Disney as a whole as the employer is not explicitly the covered entity. This is why HIPAA can be part of the discussion when talking about employer-employee topics.. but not when talking about Guest Relations for customers, etc :)

ADA coverage of their employee medical records could be in play depending on how the information was obtained.

But usually to avoid interpretation on the fly - they tend to treat all medical related information as confidential.
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
You could try that argument... but why? If they are following the rules, the rules that actually are the portion that react to the cases, can you not accept Disney is no different than every other business? You think every business should post their case history on the door or something?

People need to stop thinking that their belief or desire is the same thing as the law.

People want the counts for curiosity - not because it somehow makes them safer or not. That's what the rules are for.
That's the issue- we don't know whether Disney is following the rules. These CMs say that Disney isn't. It warrants further investigation.

I understand that Disney is a business, like other businesses. But it's also a bit unique in that the parks are non-essential vacation destinations that draw people from around the world. As a fan (and potential parks guest), I would want to know how Disney is managing their coronavirus response. If they're doing what the law requires, that's great. But as they do what the law requires, we may find that the laws need to be changed if those laws are not producing the desired results. The rules/laws/policies, when put into practice, may turn out to be ineffective, too costly, or unfair.

If there was a full disclosure about the total number of cases among CMs and/or guests, we would be able to make informed decisions about spending money to visit the parks. Is a visit to Downtown Disney more (or less) risky than a visit to the local Walmart in terms of exposure to coronavirus? We don't know!
 

Jrb1979

Well-Known Member
I don't understand why so many of you feel Disney or any company shouldn't release Covid cases? Here where I live every business that had an employee test positive they announce to the public so people can get tested if they have possibly come in contact with that person. It blows my mind that people want things to get better and back to normal contact tracing would help a lot. Again why shouldn't businesses including Disney release those numbers?
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
See, that's why I don't like this piece. The writer of the article tries to fill in the blanks and someone gave it a click bait title that the CM's only seem to insinuate, but don't directly say (covering up) , and with no proof other than "watercooler chat" texts between seemingly well informed coworkers and their spouses.

That said, with this all being out, I think Disney would be crazy not to do an internal investigation. A lot is riding on reopening the resort, including the hotels, so they absolutely need to get it right.

Hong Kong already had to close after reopening, we don't want that in California too.

If many CM's feel as strongly as these select few do, absolutely Disney should try to accommodate them.
You're entitled to dislike this article. But good journalism actually should try to "fill in the blanks" in a story in order to figure out what the story actually is and to make it make sense to the reader. A bullet list of facts wouldn't make much sense to anyone.

Typically journalists aren't the ones who write the headlines for their stories (in print, online, etc.). These come from editors and marketing folks to try to drive traffic (hence, "clickbait"). But without it some level of attention-grabbing, people will skip right over an article.

The only way we are going to know how many CMs feel strongly about how Disney is handling this is stories like this.
 

LuvtheGoof

Grill Master
Premium Member
I don't understand why so many of you feel Disney or any company shouldn't release Covid cases? Here where I live every business that had an employee test positive they announce to the public so people can get tested if they have possibly come in contact with that person. It blows my mind that people want things to get better and back to normal contact tracing would help a lot. Again why shouldn't businesses including Disney release those numbers?
Where I live, no business releases any kind of COVID numbers, and aren't required to do so. Why do you think Disney should? Contact tracing? How would anyone know that they were in close contact with a particular CM on a particular day? Pretty much an impossible task.
 

Chomama

Well-Known Member
I don't understand why so many of you feel Disney or any company shouldn't release Covid cases? Here where I live every business that had an employee test positive they announce to the public so people can get tested if they have possibly come in contact with that person. It blows my mind that people want things to get better and back to normal contact tracing would help a lot. Again why shouldn't businesses including Disney release those numbers?
I don’t have an answer for you but an idea. It may be where you live. Where I live it isn’t being shared - not even by schools. We have grown accustomed to silence from our governor who hasn’t been heard from more than every 4-6 weeks since March. Most small businesses and restaurants are not enforcing masking, although customers are still trying. I am not saying any of this is acceptable. It’s not. But it has been normalized. So where I live it isn’t at all abnormal to not know where people are testing positive. Most People wouldn’t even think to ask and when they do (ie schools) they are met with vague answers and suggestions that administrators and business owners shouldn’t be bothered anymore.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
That's the issue- we don't know whether Disney is following the rules. These CMs say that Disney isn't. It warrants further investigation.

And that's why you look at their examples given.. and look at what they are actually saying. Like all but one cited examples were nothing more than "people are not showing up and we're not being told why". There is no smoking gun in the cites here. It comes across more as rumors and hearsay.

I understand that Disney is a business, like other businesses. But it's also a bit unique in that the parks are non-essential vacation destinations that draw people from around the world. As a fan (and potential parks guest), I would want to know how Disney is managing their coronavirus response

Disney has told you how they are managing the response - as it impacts the customers.

Disney isn't drawing people from around the world right now... its just as 'non-essential' as you going to your neighborhood restaurant, or winery. Disney is not alone here - look at the news in any beach resort town from the summer.


If they're doing what the law requires, that's great. But as they do what the law requires, we may find that the laws need to be changed if those laws are not producing the desired results. The rules/laws/policies, when put into practice, may turn out to be ineffective, too costly, or unfair.

But we don't have that data saying it's not - nor is there anything showing Disney to be radically unique here. They are scale and diverse.. but you could walk into any Resort town and see far more greater issues and risks.

Again your argument boils down to a curiosity to answer what you think MIGHT be something happening...
 

LuvtheGoof

Grill Master
Premium Member
You're entitled to dislike this article. But good journalism actually should try to "fill in the blanks" in a story in order to figure out what the story actually is and to make it make sense to the reader. A bullet list of facts wouldn't make much sense to anyone.

Are you frickin kidding????? No journalist should EVER "fill in the blanks", as that isn't journalism. If they don't know all the answers, then say so, but to me, the story shouldn't even have been released until more could be verified. That's part of the problem with todays news media and social networks. WAY too much is posted when not all of the information is known and if some of it is proven to be completely false at a later date, the networks do not go back and retract their earlier article.

The only way we are going to know how many CMs feel strongly about how Disney is handling this is stories like this.
You are never going to know the answer. Just because a few CMs state something, doesn't mean the other 100,000+ of them believe the same thing.
 

Chi84

Premium Member
In general, yes I agree with what you are saying.. but there is still applicability to portions of Disney as the Health Plan Sponsor and under Plan Administration they have obligations and restrictions with that even tho Disney as a whole as the employer is not explicitly the covered entity. This is why HIPAA can be part of the discussion when talking about employer-employee topics.. but not when talking about Guest Relations for customers, etc :)

ADA coverage of their employee medical records could be in play depending on how the information was obtained.

But usually to avoid interpretation on the fly - they tend to treat all medical related information as confidential.
I was just talking about applicability in the context being discussed here.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
I don't understand why so many of you feel Disney or any company shouldn't release Covid cases? Here where I live every business that had an employee test positive they announce to the public so people can get tested if they have possibly come in contact with that person. It blows my mind that people want things to get better and back to normal contact tracing would help a lot. Again why shouldn't businesses including Disney release those numbers?

Because it's a number that doesn't really lead to informed customers - more like abuse of information because people are freaking lazy

"Disney has 5,000 cases!! Uni only has 3500... UNI is doing it better" (yet no one looks at anything but the topline number, nothing like percentages, or ratios)

Customers should know so they can get tested? You know from a report if "Joe Slalinksi is the Joe from FL who boarded you at avatar? That's not going to happen...

People want the information for their own assumptions about problem behavior. A built in assumption that 'lots of cases means bad behavior'
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
Where I live, no business releases any kind of COVID numbers, and aren't required to do so. Why do you think Disney should? Contact tracing? How would anyone know that they were in close contact with a particular CM on a particular day? Pretty much an impossible task.
Is a trip to a Disney property more risky, less risky, or about the same as a trip to any other destination? We don't know! But Disney might. And unless they inform us, we cannot make informed decisions about going, can we?

The task of contact tracing is not impossible, but it definitely works better with willing participants. Let's say Bob, a CM who works Space Mountain, starts to experience symptoms of illness. He should leave work and get tested for COVID. If the test comes back negative, he should wait until he's symptom-free and then return to work.

But if the test comes back positive, health officials will be notified. They reach out to Bob and ask him to provide them with a list of all the people he's been in close proximity with for 15 consecutive minutes or longer in the last couple weeks–other CMs (both from his team, but also from other teams), friends, family, and guests. Bob does his best to list everyone that might fit these criteria. Then the health officials call Disney to notify them, and Disney notifies the people on the list that they may have been exposed, and that they should either quarantine or get tested.

Let's say Bob is a selfish jerk and doesn't want to cooperate. That's ok! Health officials, having notice that Bob tested positive, reach out to Bob's manager (and probably HR) and have her rack her brain for anyone who might have shared a shift/assignment/location with Bob (specifically, within 6ft of Bob for 15 consecutive minutes or more) and then those people are notified. They may even put out an announcement (anonymized, for Bob's privacy): "If you were working in/around Space Mountain between [date] and [date], please let us know." And then those people get the warning that they may have been exposed.

Not easy or fun, but possible.
 

LuvtheGoof

Grill Master
Premium Member
Is a trip to a Disney property more risky, less risky, or about the same as a trip to any other destination? We don't know! But Disney might. And unless they inform us, we cannot make informed decisions about going, can we?

The task of contact tracing is not impossible, but it definitely works better with willing participants. Let's say Bob, a CM who works Space Mountain, starts to experience symptoms of illness. He should leave work and get tested for COVID. If the test comes back negative, he should wait until he's symptom-free and then return to work.

But if the test comes back positive, health officials will be notified. They reach out to Bob and ask him to provide them with a list of all the people he's been in close proximity with for 15 consecutive minutes or longer in the last couple weeks–other CMs (both from his team, but also from other teams), friends, family, and guests. Bob does his best to list everyone that might fit these criteria. Then the health officials call Disney to notify them, and Disney notifies the people on the list that they may have been exposed, and that they should either quarantine or get tested.

Let's say Bob is a selfish jerk and doesn't want to cooperate. That's ok! Health officials, having notice that Bob tested positive, reach out to Bob's manager (and probably HR) and have her rack her brain for anyone who might have shared a shift/assignment/location with Bob (specifically, within 6ft of Bob for 15 consecutive minutes or more) and then those people are notified. They may even put out an announcement (anonymized, for Bob's privacy): "If you were working in/around Space Mountain between [date] and [date], please let us know." And then those people get the warning that they may have been exposed.

Not easy or fun, but possible.
So first, many people have reported that they feel safer at WDW than they do at their local grocery store, even with the local populace wearing masks. Second, I was speaking about the guests, not other CMs. While true that guests will not have as much contact as other CMs, the probability still isn't zero for transmission. Just much lower.

The other item is that I thought Disney was testing their CMs at the local facility located right on property, maybe not daily, but hopefully on a timely basis to catch people that are positive.

Anyway, the point is moot if businesses are not required to report numbers, as we all know that they won't unless they are required to by law. And then it would only apply in the state that passed that law, so if California says they have to report, that doesn't apply to their CMs at WDW.
 

Jrb1979

Well-Known Member
Because it's a number that doesn't really lead to informed customers - more like abuse of information because people are freaking lazy

"Disney has 5,000 cases!! Uni only has 3500... UNI is doing it better" (yet no one looks at anything but the topline number, nothing like percentages, or ratios)

Customers should know so they can get tested? You know from a report if "Joe Slalinksi is the Joe from FL who boarded you at avatar? That's not going to happen...

People want the information for their own assumptions about problem behavior. A built in assumption that 'lots of cases means bad behavior'
First of all they never release the person's name. All they release is that an employee of said business tested positive and say the times that person was working. That way anyone that was there can get tested if need be. Its how you help control the spread.
 
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