Could L.A.’s New COVID-19 Orders Threaten TV Production?

Strict health and safety orders are being implemented in Los Angeles County as COVID-19 cases continue to rise on the West Coast.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, in a statement on Wednesday, December 2, said, “My message couldn’t be simpler. It’s time to hunker. It’s time to cancel everything. And if it isn’t essential, don’t do it. Don’t meet up with others outside your household. Don’t host a gathering. Don’t attend a gathering. And following our targeted ‘Safer at Home’ order, if you’re able to stay home, stay home.”

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Plus, find out if any of the characters have tested positive.

According to the L.A. Emergency Authority order, the at-home order exceptions currently include TV production: “Newspapers, television news, radio, magazine, podcast and journalism; and music, film and television production, after adopting the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Reopening Protocol for Music, Film and Television Production” are exempt, it reads.

But the big question is, for how long?

Many productions soon break for the holidays before returning in the new year. According to The Hollywood Reporter, producers will have to inform unions about their plans for post-holiday testing when it comes to COVID-19, which could mean possible delays if positive results are found.

Station 19 Kevin McKidd

(Credit: ABC/Christopher Willard)

Filming hours are currently restricted to a finite schedule. As of November 25, productions were only allowed to run from 5 a.m./7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Some solutions being made to minimize possible COVID-19 exposure include limiting the amount of people on set.

Considering the rising number of cases in Los Angeles as well as the entire state of California, it’s probably best for fans to temper their expectations when it comes to schedules. While everything seems to be on track, unpredictability attached to COVID-19 is always a factor.

Stay tuned for any possible updates about changes in production scheduling and more as L.A. County’s “Safer at Home” orders continue.