During Monday morning’s “Today,” Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb announced to their audience that Al Roker and Craig Melvin had taken the day off out of “an abundance of caution” after learning of a colleague’s positive test for the novel coronavirus.
“Last night, we learned that a colleague of ours on the third hour of ‘Today’ has tested positive for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, so out of an abundance of caution, Craig and Al have taken the morning off so we can trace their contacts, see what’s going on with them. We promise to keep you posted. Both are fine right now. They feel good.”
“Yeah, they said they feel great,” said Kotb.
“But caution is the order of the day,” added Guthrie.
“I think yeah,” agreed Kotb. “We’re just trying to play exactly by the rules and we hope and wish that they come back soon.”
In an internal memo obtained by the NY Post, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim wrote to staff: “We have learned that a TODAY employee based at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and working for the 9am hour has tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19). We are fully supporting our colleague, who is experiencing mild symptoms and receiving medical care, and I know you join me in sending our very best for a quick recovery.
“As you know, we have been preparing for this possibility and are taking all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our teams, which includes multiple deep cleanings of our offices, control room and Studio 1A,” Oppenheim added. “Additionally, we are identifying employees who had been in close proximity to the affected employee and — while not required to do so by the NY Health Department — are in the process of asking those who had close contact to self-isolate.”
The coronavirus spread has affected all American industries, from local businesses to sports to entertainment. TheWrap has been monitoring the canceled events in tech, media, politics and entertainment here. The Tribeca Film Festival, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Induction Ceremony and Coachella are among the events being postponed or canceled in reaction to the spread of the virus.
TV productions have been suspended or delayed, as have movies. Elsewhere, talk shows have forgone live studio audiences while Disneyland and other entertainment parks have announced closures, as has Broadway.
Consumers aren’t the only ones affected; the May upfronts — where networks present their programming slates — have all been canceled.
Watch Savannah and Hoda’s announcement below:
— Kyle Drennen (@kjdrennen) March 16, 2020