The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is urging film productions in the area to “strongly consider” pausing their operations for a few weeks amid a continued surge in COVID-19 cases.
Per FilmLA, in an email sent to the county’s film industry contacts on Dec. 24, the LADPH wrote: “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 also warned industry members that traveling “for production purposes is currently not advised,” as it increases the risk of contracting COVID-19 “by making it more likely that people will end up together in vehicles or indoors in less-controlled settings.”
The county’s suggestion comes as the LADPH reports 13,661 new cases of COVID-19 and 73 new deaths, with an estimated 432 additional deaths reflecting delayed reporting over the weekend. On Dec. 23, it was announced that California had officially become the first state to surpass two million COVID-19 cases. The recent surge has resulted in crowded hospitals and the likely extension of California’s current stay-at-home order.
In a press conference on Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that he expects to extend regional stay-at-home orders across the state, with an official announcement coming Tuesday.
Newsom said that residents of California must “prepare ourselves for what is inevitable now, based upon the travel that we have seen just in the last week and expectation of more of the same through the rest of the holiday season.”