Florida Deems WWE an 'Essential Business' During COVID-19 Outbreak

The designation will allow it to bypass the state's shelter-in-place order.


Image via Getty/Ethan Miller

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The WWE has reportedly convinced Florida's governor that they're "essential" enough to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic. Dana White may want to take note

This came to light on Monday when Orange County, Florida's mayor, Jerry Demings, was asked why the Orlando-based WWE Performance Center was allowed to continue operating while others deemed non-essential have to ride out the virus' spread with their businesses closed. The state's shelter-in-place order is currently set to run from April 1 through April 30. Originally, WWE was deemed non-essential, but some sort of talk with Ron DeSantis' office changed that.

"I think initially there was a review that was done and they were not initially deemed an essential business,” Demings said. "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."

No further details were given.

WWE has continued to tape at the Performance Center. TMZ reports they were shooting a Raw on Monday.

Previously, sources revealed that an on-air talent (though not an in-ring performer) turned up a positive diagnosis for the virus. The company says that wasn't contracted by (or passed off to) their other employees. Whoever that person was, they've reportedly made a complete recovery. 

As for this more current news, WWE maintains that the masses need entertainment, and that safety protocols are in place and are being followed. 

"We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times," the company said, according to TMZ. 

"We are producing content on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance following appropriate guidelines while taking additional precautions to ensure the health and wellness of our performers and staff. As a brand that has been woven into the fabric of society, WWE and its Superstars bring families together and deliver a sense of hope, determination and perseverance.”

Below you can watch some footage of Demings' press conference. 

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