Chicago Fire Suspends Season 9 Production After Multiple Positive COVID Tests

This week marked the long-awaited premieres for NBC's One Chicago trio of dramas, with Chicago Fire's Season 9 opener anchoring Wednesday night in between the first episodes of Chicago Med Season 6 and Chicago P.D. Season 8. Each of those installments definitely got fans talking about the departing characters and the new faces, but Chicago Fire also caused some conversations over some behind-the-scenes issues concerning multiple members of the crew testing positive for COVID, which has caused the Season 9 production to shut down.

It looks like Chicago Fire actually had to shutter its production on Sunday, November 8, according to Deadline, and everything will be shut down for at least two full weeks. While NBC and the show's producers haven't gone public with any details to this point, it's being reported that several different members of Chicago Fire's production squad – each believed to be in the more prevalent Zone 1 grouping – showed positive results for COVID when they were tested as part of the drama's new safety rules.

Once the crew members' tests came up as positive, moves were made to bring Chicago Fire's current production slate to a halt, which followed the updated rules in place through NBCUniversal's production guidelines. Because the crew members in question were in a group that directly dealt with Fire's cast members and other members of the crew, the decision was made to have everyone on the show take a 14-day pause for quarantining's sake. After that point, the powers that be can reassess the situation for the Wolf Entertainment and Universal TV production so that it can be determined if the cast and crew can return to their jobs.

This is unfortunately the second Chicago drama to face production setbacks due to COVID tests coming up positive. Chicago Med began filming on September 22, and it was around a week later that a handful of positive tests caused filming to go into a two-week hiatus. Chicago P.D. and Chicago Fire both began their respective productions on October 6, so it took just over a month for the flagship drama to get hit with infections. Here's hoping that the P.D. cast and crew can keep things on the negative side as Season 8 films.

All three NBC dramas film in the Chicago area, as opposed to centering their production in Los Angeles, but the location shooting isn't exactly helping when it comes to COVID scares. The U.S. is currently facing record-breaking infection rates on a near-daily basis, with Illinois being one area of the country that is facing as big an upswing as anywhere else.

Even beyond Med, Chicago Fire is far from the only TV show to be facing COVID-related setbacks since the entertainment world returned to worldwide productions. To name just a couple of recent cases, two stars from ABC's The Good Doctor have tested positive, while The Rookie also had some positive tests, though without halting filming. And the film world isn't faring all that much better, with its own share of production shutdowns to counter all of the consistently delayed release dates for all manner of blockbusters.

Chicago Fire airs Wednesday nights on NBC at 9:00 p.m. ET. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for any news on future delays, and head to our Fall TV 2020 premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.