Only a day after the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health urged television and film productions to pause productions in light of the surging number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, CBS Studios is delaying the production-return dates for five series coming off their holiday breaks. CBS' NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles, and Seal Team, as well as CBS All Access' Why Women Kill and Disney +'s Diary of a Future President will resume production a week later than scheduled- moving from January 4 to January 11. Deadline Hollywood reports that a "number of other TV studios and streamers are also reviewing the situation, including availability of talent and other logistics, with additional start of production delays possible."
In excerpts posted by FilmLA on their website on Monday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reached out to the entertainment industry for their voluntary support. "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." The health department and county film permit office also reminded everyone that "travel for production purposes is currently not advised." While production travel is permitted, both groups are asking filmmakers to avoid it whenever possible- with travel making it much more likely "that people will end up together in vehicles or indoors in less-controlled settings."
The news comes on the same day that Los Angeles surpassed 7,000 COVID-related hospitalizations for the first time, with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials confirming that 7,181 people are currently hospitalized for the infectious disease (with 20% of the patients currently hospitalized for Covid-19 are being treated in the ICU). Officials also confirmed 12,979 new cases and 227 deaths (with the number of deaths based on a backlog associated with a Spectrum outage and holiday-related delays). As of this date, LA officials have identified a total of 746,089 cases of Covid-19 and 9,782 deaths county-wide (with state officials reporting a total of 2,187, 221 cases and 24,526 deaths).