The County of Los Angeles Public Health reports that there were five positive COVID-19 cases at Santa Clarita Studios in Santa Clarita, CA, a production facility 30 miles north of Hollywood where such noted features like Furious 7, Django Unchained and True Lies have lensed as well as series like Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet, CBS’ S.W.A.T. and Fox’s Melrose Place among several others.
It’s unclear when the cases were recorded by LA County Health. We reached out to a rep at Santa Clarita Studios on Friday who vouched that those impacted “are back to work” and “received the all clear” from a doctor yesterday. I hear that the employees who tested positive were not associated with any productions currently shooting at the facility, rather the production equipment company which is owned by Santa Clarita Studios. As such, none of the stages at the production site were infected, we’re told.
Santa Clarita Studios has had zero COVID-19 cases on its productions as it has been following strict safety protocols since ramping up over the summer.
This is par for the course for the motion picture and television industry in the workplace; people are going to get sick during the pandemic until a treatment is found to quell the coronavirus. Until then, it boils down to simply managing cases appropriately. Back in August, Deadline reported that three employees at CBS Television City tested positive, and they, too, weren’t tied to any productions shooting on the Beverly Avenue lot.
At a press conference Thursday, county officials expressed their concerns about outbreaks in workplaces overall, particularly “in the last several weeks,” per LA County Chief Science Officer Dr. Paul Simon. “It’s an increase that we’re going to have to watch very closely.”
“During the summer, we saw a big spike up in outbreaks in these general workspaces,” he said. “The fear is that may be seen this winter, as well.”