The Ellen DeGeneres Show is delaying its return to production amid a surge of coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County and will continue airing repeat episodes next week.
“Due to the COVID-19 surge in Los Angeles County, and for the continued safety of our staff and crew, The Ellen DeGeneres Show will push production by a week,” a spokesperson for Telepictures, the show’s producer, said in a statement.
The syndicated daytime talker halted production on December 10 and began airing encore episodes after DeGeneres announced she had tested positive for COVID-19. DeGeneres tweeted at the time that she was “feeling fine” and isolating in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Ellen had planned to resume with new episodes on Monday, January 4, and has now pushed that return a week to Monday, January 11. A spokesperson for the show says the move is being made out of an abundance of caution with the recent spike in cases, and producers will be working from home. No cases have been reported among the Ellen staff.
The show brought back its live studio audience in October, with a limited number of live viewers on set. “You’re spaced six feet apart,” DeGeneres told the season’s first studio audience. “We’ve got as many of you in here as possible and please when you dance, try not to drift.”
The Los Angeles Department of Public Health also urged another production shutdown earlier this week due to the spike in cases.
“Although music, TV and film productions are allowed to operate, we ask you to strongly consider pausing work for a few weeks during this catastrophic surge in COVID cases. Identify and delay higher risk activities, and focus on lower-risk work for now, if at all possible,” according to the department’s letter, which was made public by FilmLA.