‘Today’ Show correspondents, Al Roker and Craig Melvin, will be taking the day off from the show due to a coronavirus outbreak on-set.
A Today Show staffer has tested positive for coronavirus, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb confirmed during the show on March 16. The co-anchors practiced social distancing by sitting several feet apart at their co-anchor desk on the show, and they made the announcement that two of their colleagues, Al Roker and Craig Melvin, would be taking the morning off due to the news of the diagnosis on-set. The identity of the person who has tested positive for COVID-19 was not revealed, but Savannah said that it was a man who worked on the third hour of the show.
“Last night we learned that a colleague of ours on the third hour of Today has tested positive for COVID-19,” Savannah explained. “Out of an abundance of caution, Craig and Al have taken the morning off so we can trace their contacts and see what’s going on with them. We promise to keep you posted. Both are fine right now, they feel fine.” Hoda added, “We’re just trying to play exactly by the rules and we hope and wish they come back soon.” Today staffers are actively working to determine who the infected colleague recently came in contact with.
The Today show is currently airing without its usual live audience in Rockefeller Plaza. This precautionary method began on Thurs. March 12, and is one that various daytime and morning talk shows have adopted. “We are missing something that’s really important to us on this show, and that’s our crowd that we would normally show you at this time,” Savannah said during the March 16 show. “But we are following the guidance of health officials and we are suspending live audiences here at our plaza — for now — just trying to do our part, but we miss you and hope to invite you back soon.”
We learned late last night a colleague on the 3rd hour of TODAY tested positive for COVID-19.
Out of an abundance of caution, Craig and Al are taking the morning off while we map that colleague’s close contacts. pic.twitter.com/aVHJpMU1Fj
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 16, 2020
Meanwhile, late night talk shows initially had plans to tape without audiences, but have now suspended production completely. The Wendy Williams Show, The Talk, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and more have also suspended filming at this time.