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Florida Governor Declares Professional Wrestling 'Essential,' Despite COVID-19

FILE - Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference at a drive-through coronavirus testing site in front of Hard Rock Stadium, in Miami Gardens, Florida, March 30, 2020.

Officials in Florida say the professional wrestling organization World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE, has been deemed an "essential business" and could potentially resume live shows from its Orlando training facility. Florida media report the company had been holding shows without audiences at that venue because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings announced the decision Monday. He said the WWE was not initially designated as essential and therefore was not exempt from the state's stay-at-home order, which took effect April 3 and runs through at least April 30. That decision was reversed after "some conversation" with Governor Ron DeSantis' office, which outlined the policy change in an April 9 memo.

The governor’ office says the WWE is considered essential along with any professional sports and media production business with a national audience as long as the location they use is closed to the general public.

Essential businesses that are supposed to remain open during Florida's stay-at-home order include those in the health care, financial, energy, food, communications and transportation sectors.

A spokesperson for the governor told ESPN on Monday that such services are deemed essential "because they are critical to Florida's economy."