‘S.W.A.T.’ Among The Showbiz Entities Hit By Covid Outbreaks This Week As Delta Variant Drives Surge

As the Delta variant drove infections across California to their biggest one-day jump of 2021 this week, Hollywood was not immune.

The Los Angeles County Health Department reported an outbreak related to CBS’s S.W.A.T. at Santa Clarita Studios North of Los Angeles. Deadline confirmed with sources Friday evening that there were five cases on S.W.A.T., but that production has not been suspended.

Kenny Johnson, who plays Dominique Luca on the show, posted a still from the set on Friday and all looked well.

Jay and I on a Friday. Day 4 season 5. @CBS @swatcbs @SonyPictures @SPTV @Sony @jayharrington3 pic.twitter.com/b5mkaSu1vy

— Kenny Johnson (@TheKennyJohnson) July 30, 2021

The county also reported outbreaks at a number of other showbiz entities. Endemol Shine North America’s North Hollywood office saw three infections. NBC Universal Post Production on the Universal Lot reported four recent infections. The Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plans in Studio City had six people hit by Covid.

Some shows were forced to pause production due to Covid recently, including HBO’s Westworld and FX’s long-running American Horror Story.

Across the industry, aggressive steps are being taken to prevent outbreaks. On Friday, Disney announced that it will require salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. to be vaccinated. Disney also reintroduced masks indoors in its U.S. parks this week. It was also announced on Friday that Broadway productions will require audiences to be vaccinated for Covid and masked except when eating or drinking. Covid vaccination has also recently been mandated for Broadway’s workforce.

Covid cases continued to rise across Los Angeles County this week driven by the Delta variant, which now accounts for 96% of the variants analyzed, according to Los Angeles County Public Health. The raw number of daily cases rose about 20% in the past week, to 3,606 on Friday. That’s roughly one-third of the 10,356 cases recorded in California on Friday, even though Los Angeles County’s population accounts for only roughly 25% of the state’s residents.

The areas of the county driving the rise, according to Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, have been more affluent communities on the West Side including Beverly Hills, Bel-Air, Beverly Crest and Venice as well as Studio City, Sherman Oaks and Encino, a region that houses or is adjacent to many of the week’s showbiz outbreaks.

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