It’s been nearly three months since “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of our Lives,” “General Hospital” and “The Young and the Restless” suspended production due to COVID-19 concerns. Now it looks like each show could resume production no sooner than Friday, June 12, if local conditions are met, according to a statement released today by Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health.
“Music, TV and film production may resume in California, recommended no sooner than June 12, 2020 and subject to approval by county public health officers within the jurisdictions of operations following their review of local epidemiological data including cases per 100,000 population, rate of test positivity, and local preparedness to support a health care surge, vulnerable populations, contact tracing and testing,” the statement read. “To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers. Back office staff and management should adhere to Office Workspace guidelines published by the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Industrial Relations, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.”
Earlier this week, members of the state’ss Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force — which includes TV/Film unions and academies AMPTP, SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild, IATSE and the Teamsters — submitted a 22-page white paper to the governors of California and New York, among others. The document includes a host of recommended protocols on the steps needed towards restarting productions while reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19.
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Some of the recommendations include “[on] set hygiene, disinfection and maintenance, catering, mandatory employment of COVID-19 Compliance Officer(s), symptom screening, physical distancing, paid leave policies and COVID-19 training, among other critically important topics necessary for the safe resumption of production.”
It’s too early to know whether the four American soap operas will immediately jump back into production on the earliest date possible now that they have been given the go-ahead by Newsom and the various guilds. In late May, “B&B” was the first soap to announce plans to resume production in June once given the go-ahead by L.A. County., TV unions and others.
We’ll keep you updated as this story continues to develop.