The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is pushing film productions currently filming in the area to “Strongly Consider” shutting down their operations for the next few weeks following a continued surge in COVID-19 cases.
According to FilmLA, in an email sent to the county’s film industry influencers on December 24, the LADPH wrote the following:
“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.”
“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 Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is warning industry members traveling for production purposes is not advised. The argument is that traveling increases the risk of contracting COVID-19 by making it more likely people will in less-controlled settings such as vehicles or indoors with people infected with COVID-19.
This news comes after a recent report of nearly 14,000 new cases of COVID-19 and nearly 75 new deaths. On December 23rd, California had officially become the first state to surpass two million Coronavirus COVID-19 cases. Due to the recent surge, hospitals are now overcrowded.
On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he expects it to extend stay-at-home orders across the state, with an official announcement coming on 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.”
In relevant news, Hollywood is actively abandoning filming in the United States due to high Coronavirus infections. A movie starring Ben Affleck was supposed to start filming in the United States. However, due to the lack of COVID-19 Coronavirus testing material and fast lab results, producers moved the filming location to Canada.
Ben Affleck’s latest movie is just one of several projects leaving the U.S. for Canada, the U.K., and Australia due to the Coronavirus.