Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights Event Canceled This Year Over Coronavirus Concerns

Universal Orlando has announced that its annual Halloween Horror Nights event is canceled this year amid ongoing concerns surrounding the coronavirus. The theme park revealed the news in a statement released to social media, explaining that is was a "difficult decision" to come to. "Universal Orlando Resort will be focusing exclusively on operating its theme parks for daytime guests, using the enhanced health and safety procedures already in place," the statement added.

"Universal Studios Hollywood continues to face ongoing business restrictions and uncertainty around its opening timeframe," the park continued. "We know this decision will disappoint our fans and guests. We are disappointed, too." The park then concluded its statement by saying that they "look forward to creating an amazing event in 2021." The news comes as the Florida Department of Health confirmed 12,444 additional cases of COVID-19. This brings the state total to well-over 400,000, according to the Miami Herald. Additionally, there were 135 new Florida resident deaths confirmed, bringing the statewide resident death toll to over 5,000.

Notably, another Florida event that has been canceled is the Jacksonville portions of the Republican National Convention. President Donald Trump shared the news on Thursday: "I told my team it's time to cancel the Jacksonville, Florida, component of the GOP convention." He went on to say, "Thousands of people [are] wanting to be there, and I mean in some cases desperately be there. People making travel arrangements all over the country." Trump explained that he will still be making a campaign speech but "in a different form." He said, "We won't do a big crowded convention, per se," and added that he cares "deeply about the people of Florida."

The Jacksonville 2020 Host Committee has since issued a statement on the canceled conventions plans. "President Trump made the absolute right decision for the health and safety of the people of Jacksonville and of the entire state of Florida," the committee said. "The rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Florida is serious and the President and the RNC have demonstrated great concern for the safety of all Floridians." Notably, CNBC reports that Trump previously had the convention moved to Jacksonville from Charlotte, North Carolina, due to disagreements with the state's Democratic governor regarding coronavirus precautions that would have limited the size of the crowd in attendance.