A part-time Broadway usher who recently worked at two theaters has tested positive for coronavirus, the theater owners have confirmed, as both shows – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Booth Theatre and Six at the Brooks Atkinson – continued performances Wednesday night.
According to a joint statement from the Shubert Organization, owner of the Booth, and the Nederlander Organization, owner of the Brooks Atkinson, both venues were set to undergo deep cleanings by Wednesday night. The highly anticipated musical Six opens at the Brooks Atkinson tonight.
Both shows are offering ticket exchanges. “Any ticketholder that prefers to attend a future performance of ‘Virginia Woolf’ or ‘Six’ will be provided the opportunity for an exchange at the point of purchase,” the theater owners said in the statement.
The usher, who has not been publicly identified, worked March 3 to March 6 at the Booth, and prior to that on two occasions – the evening of Feb. 25 and the afternoon March 1 – assisted with lines outside the Atkinson. The usher in under quarantine; information about his or her medical condition, including when symptoms began showing, has not been specified other than to note that the usher did not show symptoms while working at the theaters.
The theater owners said that immediately upon learning of the positive test, “both organizations began taking every step necessary to ensure the safety of our audiences, performers, crew, and building staff,” and that employees of the theaters and shows were advised to monitor their health and stay home if they felt ill. The owners advised “high-risk audience members” who attended the shows to follow suit.
The New York Times reported that the New York City health department is identifying the usher’s close contacts and offering guidance.
Here is the Nederlander-Shubert statement in full:
Last evening, we were notified that a part-time employee of both organizations has tested positively for COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Immediately upon learning of the positive test, both organizations began taking every step necessary to ensure the safety of our audiences, performers, crew, and building staff.
The individual, who is currently under quarantine, most recently worked at the Shubert’s Booth Theater on March 3 through March 6 as an usher. As a result, a deep cleaning, following all current government standards, has been completed at the Booth Theater.
The employee also recently worked at the Nederlander’s Brooks Atkinson Theater on the evening of February 25 and the matinee of March 1, expediting lines outside the building. Out of an abundance of caution, a deep cleaning is currently scheduled to take place overnight at the Brooks Atkinson Theater.
Leadership of both organizations have been in contact with the State of New York, as well as the City of New York, and we are closely following all protocols related to containment and prevention. We are exercising necessary due caution with all our employees and the public. Employees of the theaters and productions who may have been exposed were notified and advised to monitor their health diligently and follow best practices related to personal hygiene, as well as directed to stay at home if they are ill. In addition, we are urging any high-risk audience members who attended these performances in the past several days to follow similar guidance.
This evening’s performances of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Booth, SIX at the Brooks Atkinson, and all other Broadway shows have determined they will continue as scheduled. Any ticketholder that prefers to attend a future performance of Virginia Woolf or SIX will be provided the opportunity for an exchange at the point of purchase.
Our teams are continuing to monitor and address the situation in real time, and will provide updates as appropriate. Among the many reasons that Broadway is unique is the connection between our audiences, the performers, and the women and men who work on the production teams and within our theaters. We are committed to making sure this never changes, and we will continue to provide a safe and special experience for all involved.