COVID-19 cases continue to soar around the country, which is again causing shutdowns and cancellations in the entertainment industry. Many are blaming the new Omicron variant for the recent spike in cases, which are higher than they’ve been since the pandemic began.
“I’ll give it to you straight, as I promised that I always would: We’re going to see COVID cases continue to rise,” he tweeted. “But you have the power to protect yourself by getting vaccinated and getting boosted.”
I’ll give it to you straight, as I promised that I always would: We’re going to see COVID cases continue to rise. But you have the power to protect yourself by getting vaccinated and getting boosted. pic.twitter.com/AfhXa4e3GP
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 5, 2022
However, even though the entertainment industry has strict protocols in place, some are not taking any chances.
‘NCIS’ Pauses Production Due To The Omicron Variant
According to Deadline, “NCIS” has halted production after someone tested on set tested positive. At this time, it is believed to be a cast member, although their name has not been disclosed. Celebrities have been making headlines all week for their positive COVID-19 test results.
Last night, “Late Night” show host Seth Meyers canceled all episodes this week after he revealed he had tested positive for COVID-19.
Singer Jessie J revealed that she recently contracted COVID-19 at a concert in Los Angeles.
Host Jimmy Fallon also announced that he got COVID during a “Tonight Show” break.
Whoopi Goldberg’s status on “The View” is also up in the air after she tested positive for COVID-19.
Out of precaution, “NCIS: LA” has delayed its production until the start of February in the hopes of riding out the recent rise of cases.
One production source allegedly told Deadline, “It’s a mess. People keep getting COVID.”
Festivals Delay In-Person Audiences Or Cancel Altogether
📢 Despite ambitious protocols, the Omicron variant with its unexpectedly high transmissibility rates is pushing the limits of health safety, travel and other infrastructures. Thus, #Sundance 2022’s in-person Utah elements will be moving online. More: https://t.co/orExAzKnEu pic.twitter.com/Q93P8p5J9Z
— SundanceFilmFestival (@sundancefest) January 5, 2022
As The Blast previously reported, New York’s Public Theater rang in the new year by canceling its annual “Under the Radar” festival due to COVID-19 concerns. Although presenting a negative COVID-19 test and proof of vaccination was required for attendance, the international festival decided it wasn’t worth the risk.
“Thank you all for being a member of The Public Theater community and Happy New Year,” they began in a lengthy Twitter statement. “We are sharing the unfortunate news that we have decided to cancel this year’s UNDER THE RADAR FESTIVAL.”
Thank you all for being a member of The Public Theater community and Happy New Year.
We are sharing the unfortunate news that we have decided to cancel this year’s UNDER THE RADAR FESTIVAL. (1/4)
— The Public Theater (@PublicTheaterNY) December 31, 2021
“While our robust COVID-19 protocols have created a safe environment within our theaters, multiple disruptions related to the rapid community spread of the Omicron variant – including artist and staff availability, artist and audience cancellations, major flight interruptions, and visa processing delays – have prevented a viable way to move forward with presenting UNDER THE RADAR 2022.”
“This is incredibly disappointing, but we believe it is necessary given the continued surge and ongoing disruptions,” they continued. “If you are a ticket holder, expect an email from us with more info. Thank you for your understanding as we all work through the continued challenges of COVID-19 together.”
They’re not the only ones. Earlier today, the Sundance Film Festival announced that its in-person event will not be happening for the second year in a row. Instead, they will be moving “the Festival’s in-person Utah elements” online this year, according to a recent statement.
“Despite the most ambitious protocols, the Omicron variant with its unexpectedly high transmissibility rates is pushing the limits of health safety, travel, and other infrastructures across the country,” the statement continued.
“This was a difficult decision to make,” they added. “As a nonprofit, our Sundance spirit is in making something work against the odds. But with case numbers forecasted to peak in our host community the week of the festival, we cannot knowingly put our staff and community at risk.”
The Palm Springs Film Festival has also been canceled due to the recent rise of COVID-19 cases.
Grammy Awards Postponed Indefinitely
As The Blast recently reported, the 64th Annual Grammy Awards is officially on hold due to the spike in COVID-19 cases. Although the 64th Annual Award Show had been scheduled for January 31, no new date has yet been set.
In a joint statement, both the Recording Academy and CBS said, “The health and safety of those in our music community, the live audience, and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly to produce our show remains our top priority.”
“Given the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant, holding the show on January 31 simply contains too many risks,” they continued. “We look forward to celebrating Music’s Biggest Night on a future date, which will be announced soon.”