Batwoman, Riverdale Resume Vancouver Productions But Concerns Remain

Approximately a week after reports surfaced that Vancouver-based productions Riverdale, Batwoman, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl (the latter two expected to begin filming this week), and others had been shut down due to delays in processing COVID tests in British Columbia, some of those productions have gotten back to work. Earlier this week, The CW's Nancy Drew was cleared to resume production and now it's Riverdale and Batwoman returning to set on Wednesday (with The Flash expected to start filming later this week, according to Deadline Hollywood).

Batwoman and Riverdale have resumed production (Images: The CW)
Batwoman and Riverdale have resumed production (Images: The CW)

A backlog of COVID tests at the local LifeLabs-run system in Vancouver processing all results lead to the initial shutdowns, due to a combination of the sheer number of tests, having only one active facility in play for processing, and the British Columbia provincial government placing a priority on school and business reopenings. The COVID protocols that allow U.S. productions to film in Vancouver required a dramatic increase in testing for the area overall ("The number of tests performed daily in the entire BC province in the past few months equals the tests needed for just a portion of the U.S. series in Vancouver").

The studios considered looking to private labs for testing and processing or sending tests across the border to Seattle, but British Columbia privacy laws prohibit the practice. While time is literally proving to be money (as in, "a loss of…") for the studios, time is a major factor in another way. According to British Columbia COVID production rules, tests time-out after 72 hours which would require another round of testing that could potentially create another backlog (which is reportedly what a number of series had to do after returned results went beyond their expiration date). For now, U.S. studios continue pressuring government officials to increase the Vancouver lab's testing capacity- which they have been assured is happening as they speak. Translation? As some productions are still in limbo on when they could restart, it's possible that some of those that have started back up may just find themselves back in the predicament again, playing another round of "Red Light/Green Light."

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.

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