PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — UPDATE: Dollywood pushed back the opening of its theme park for two weeks due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it announced on Friday. It is now scheduled to open on Saturday, March 28.
Originally, the park planned to open on March 14 as planned, with emergency plans in place.
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Dollywood officials said the park will open this weekend as planned.
With concerns about COVID-19, Dollywood has emergency plans in place and will act upon those plans should the coronavirus spread to East Tennessee, according to VP of Marketing and Public Relations Pete Owens.
Owens said the park is currently following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and working closely with its partner, Covenant Health, to prepare, monitor and respond appropriately, should the need arise in an abundance of caution.
The park said it was canceling its Media Day activities at the start of the season.
“The exciting economic news we planned to share does not seem appropriate based on what is going on. It doesn’t feel right,” Dolly said in a press release. “We need to focus on good health and praying for those who are affected. We know brighter days are ahead.”
Dollywood is asking that anyone who feels ill in any way, including having a fever of 100 degrees or higher within 24 hours, to please stay home until you recover.
To ensure good hygiene and lower the risk of spreading germs, Dollywood has added 300 additional hand-sanitization stations at all properties.
Employees are also disinfecting commonly touched surfaces multiple times throughout the day in the park, resort guest rooms and cabins