Film, TV and music productions urged to pause in LA due to coronavirus surge

 Governor Gavin Newsom has warned of new surge following holiday travel

A Covid-19 testing site at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, on 7 December 2020
A Covid-19 testing site at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, on 7 December 2020

Health authorities in Los Angeles have asked the entertainment industry to consider halting film, TV, and music productions due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

According to Deadline, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health  sent out the advisory to industry actors on 24 December.

FilmLA, a non-profit organisation that processes filming permits for the region, shared parts of the update on Monday.

“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,” the advisory reads according to FilmLA. “Identify and delay higher risk activities, and focus on lower-risk work for now, if at all possible.”

The Independent has contacted the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health for more information.

The update urges industry figures to limit travel for production purposes and asks filmmakers to “keep cast and crew close to home”. It also points out that “hospitals are full virtually everywhere”.

A report published on Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times cites three hospitals located in Los Angeles County, struggling to manage the current influx of patients. One of the hospitals reportedly experienced up to 18 hours of wait time to admit patients into the intensive care unit.

On Monday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 73 new deaths and 13,661 new Covid-19 cases, with an additional estimated 432 deaths reflecting delayed reporting. The county currently exceeds 13,000 cases a day according to the department, compared to an average of 1,200 cases a day when the current surge began on 1 November.

“On average, 9 to 10 people in LA County test positive for Covid-19 every minute or, 540 to 600 people test positive every hour,” the department stated in a news release.

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California Governor Gavin Newsom has warned of a new surge of coronavirus cases following holiday travel.

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