Obviously, lots of jobs have been terribly affected by the pandemic, but the entertainment industry has been one that's especially hard hit. While many television shows and movies have begun to film again after stopping production back in mid-March, there are many new guidelines in place to try and keep everyone safe, in an environment which hadn't usually allowed people to do much in the way of social distancing. Now, there's been a confirmed positive COVID-19 test from someone who works on Days of Our Lives, and the show is shutting down production, but there is some good news.
According to Deadline, a production team member on Days of Our Lives has just had a positive virus test, so all work on the long-running soap opera will be suspended for the next two weeks, so that everyone can quarantine and monitor their health. This temporary shutdown was announced to the staff, cast and crew of the series in an email from Corday Productions, which co-produces the drama along with Sony Pictures TV. That short work stoppage is good news, but fans can also take heart in the fact that the shutdown will not delay any air dates for the show, nor will it cause a disruption of the run of original episodes planned.
The production team member from DOOL who's gotten the positive test has already been put into quarantine. In addition, those behind the scenes of the production have completed preliminary contact tracing to locate individuals who may have had close contact with the staffer, and they have been placed in quarantine for two weeks, as well. Aside from making sure that those who are or may be infected can isolate properly, this shutdown will also allow the production to deep clean and disinfect all production facilities used by the DOOL staff.
Trying to produce a television show (or film) right now is significantly more difficult than it was at the very beginning of the year. Before filming could start back up, a series of new protocols had to be put into place, and, along with regular testing of everyone in front of and behind the scenes of each production, there are also now guidelines in place such as mandatory quarantine periods before coming to set for the first time, wearing masks and other PPE equipment off camera for all, and putting all cast, crew and staff into certain "bubbles" to make sure that people who need to work together regularly anyway are grouped together.
Even if you've never watched a single minute of any soap opera, though, you will likely know that once these actors step onto the sound stage for their scenes, well, they tend to do the exact opposite of social distancing. Soaps are nothing if not super heavy on a wide variety of makeout scenes, meaning that resuming production was a very tricky business. Producers had to figure out how to keep people safe amid all the spit-swapping, which is why some shows (like CBS' The Bold and The Beautiful) has opted to use either the real romantic partners of the actors for intimate scenes, or mannequins / sex dolls when possible.
It really is just a brand new world out there.
If you've been monitoring this type of news, eager for word on when your favorite shows will finally be back on the air, you'll probably know that Days of Our Lives is not the only production to start back up, only to have someone test positive and have to shutter the production again for a short time. Recently the NBC hit Chicago Med, as well as ABC's For Life have endured the same situation.
Luckily, only one employee at Days of Our Lives has tested positive, and it sounds like it was caught soon enough that no one else might contract the virus. Hopefully, this short shut down will go fine, and everything will be back up and running on October 26, as is currently planned. For more on what to watch in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our fall premiere guide!