When it comes to reality TV, the show must go on — global pandemic be damned.
Voyeurism juggernaut “Big Brother” had nine documented cases of the coronavirus as of Thursday. The online COVID-19 database for Los Angeles County reportedly traced the positive tests back to Stage 18 of the CBS Studio Center in Studio City.
According to Deadline, the outbreak is indeed tied to “Big Brother,” which is filming its 23rd season on Stage 18 — but a few positive cases can’t bring the long-running show down. Production of the show — which employs about 500 people and touts the apt catchphrase “expect the unexpected” — has not been impacted. Business will proceed as usual on the set, which reportedly had stringent industry health precautions in place last season.
The nine positive tests are supposedly tied to crew members, not on-screen participants. None of the infected workers — most of whom are already back at work after being quarantined and testing negative — are believed to have had interactions with the houseguests, according to Deadline’s report.
Meanwhile, the pandemic has not been production-friendly thus far, as the film and television industry continues to suffer after not being able to be fully on-set for most of 2020. According to the Los Angeles Times, nearly 300,000 jobs were lost due to the pandemic.
However, now that on-set filming is making its comeback, the Delta variant and breakthrough cases are rearing their ugly heads.
With new COVID-19 guidelines, Hollywood producers will now be required to mandate vaccines for the cast and crew working in close proximity to actors.
The news comes as Netflix announced it would be requiring vaccines earlier this month. The California-based entertainment company became a leader in the industry for being one of the first to mandate COVID-19 vaccines among employees.
“Big Brother” is not the only Hollywood show to be hit with coronavirus cases.
Last month, the Season 2 production of “Bridgerton” came to a screeching halt when two cases of COVID-19 were reported in a single week.