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By Dave Sebastian
Walt Disney Co. said it would temporarily close its Disneyland and Disneytown parks in Shanghai starting Saturday, as the death toll from China's spreading coronavirus rose.
"We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and be in close contact with the local government," Shanghai Disney Resort, which operates the parks, said in a statement Friday. The closings come during the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday, which is typically a busy travel period.
Disney said it would work to refund tickets bought to Disneyland, resort hotel rooms reserved and Beauty and the Beast Mandarin Production tickets booked through Disney's official ticket-purchasing platform.
The official death count related to the pneumonialike virus is 26, with the number of infections rising to at least 881 confirmed cases. The outbreak originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, and Chinese authorities have halted public transportation out of several cities in Hubei province in response to the disease's rapid spread.
McDonald's Corp. said it has closed stores in Wuhan and surrounding cities that had suspended public transportation. McDonald's restaurants in Hubei province normally operate when transportation is available, a company spokesman said. He didn't say how many restaurants were shut.
"We will maintain close communication with local health and other relevant authorities," the spokesman said.
He said McDonald's would provide hand sanitizer in restaurants, increase disinfection of areas with frequent customer contact, require delivery drivers to wear masks and monitor for fevers by taking store crew members' temperatures when they arrive for work.
McDonald's had 2,902 stores in China in its most recent quarter, making it one of the company's largest foreign markets.
The coronavirus has spread to several other countries, including South Korea, Japan and the U.S.
Write to Dave Sebastian at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 24, 2020 12:34 ET (17:34 GMT)
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