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Netflix halts production in Los Angeles as COVID-19 cases surge

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(LOS ANGELES) — While Hollywood studios had started to ramp up production following the spring’s COVID-19 shutdowns, Los Angeles-based productions have again screeched to a halt, following a surge in infections there.

Deadline reports Netflix has become the latest studio to hit pause in its shooting in the LA County area, even though such productions had technically been exempt from stay-at-home orders that affect other industries. 

Production on the Netflix sitcom Happy Family — which had been shooting without a studio audience to comply with COVID-19 protocols — has now gone dark, as have “several unscripted shows and additional photography for Netflix movies,” according to the trade.

The streaming giant is following the lead of other studios, which are either delaying new shooting starts or pausing their in-person productions for at least two weeks. Shows that had returned to an altered studio setting, like The Late Late Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, are headed back to work-at-home status, Deadline says. 

Additionally, SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris agreed with health officials in Los Angeles who called for a pause, issuing a press release co-signed by the Producers Guild of America and the The Joint Policy Committee, which represents commercial production.

The Beverly Hills, 90210 vet said in the statement, “Southern California hospitals are facing a crisis the likes of which we have never seen before. Patients are dying in ambulances waiting for treatment because hospital emergency rooms are overwhelmed. This is not a safe environment for in-person production right now.

Los Angeles County currently has more reported COVID-19 infections than any other county in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University.

By Stephen Iervolino
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