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Disney Suspends College Internship Program Amid Pandemic

The company also said it doesn't know when the Disney-owned apartments where the students lived will be reopened

The entrance to Disney World is deserted on the first day of closure as theme parks in the Orlando area suspend operations for two weeks in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Walt Disney World has suspended the Disney College Program indefinitely amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

Disney said in a blog post on Thursday that the internship's participants won't be among those returning to work when it reopens its Florida theme parks later this month.

The company also said it doesn't know when the Disney-owned apartments where the students lived will be reopened.

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“We understand this is not the news you were hoping to hear and we want to assure you this decision was not made lightly,” Disney said in the post. The company said it would refund students their fees and allow participants, including recent college graduates, to re-apply.

The program was initially suspended in mid-March when the theme parks and hotels closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Disney announced plans last month to reopen the Florida parks in phases, with the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opening on July 11 followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15. Universal Orlando and SeaWorld parks reopened in June.

The Ebb and Flow of New Coronavirus Cases and Deaths

The graphs below illustrate the distribution of new coronavirus cases and deaths in the U.S. While New York accounted for the lion’s share of new cases and deaths in March and April, its numbers have declined in May as some states have increased. Hover or tap to see new daily cases and deaths across the country. States with the most are ordered top to bottom.

Source: The COVID Tracking Project
Credit: Amy O’Kruk/NBC

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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