As cases of COVID-19 and deaths from the virus continue to surge in Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) is urging the TV and film industry to consider pausing production, a message passed along by FilmLA who helps streamline the on-location filmmaking process in L.A.
“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 message said.
FilmLA passed along the message for those seeking permits for on-location filmmaking and TV and commercial work with advise to “moving more work outdoors, delaying higher-risk work, and putting some productions completely on pause,” as well as making sure filmmakers realize that “travel for production purposes is currently not advised.”
The new advice comes from the fact that hospitals in L.A. are starting to fill to capacity, so any further outbreak that might come from active production could make it hard to treat everyone, and the LADPH encouraged filmmakers to “keep cast and crew close to home.”
Previously, the LADPH advised shutting down overnight filming in L.A. in order to help stop the spread of COVID with the county’s Blanket Health Officer’s Order on Quarantine including a shorter 10-day quarantine option for those traveling to L.A. The health standards for local film productions, Appendix J, will soon be updated to reflect this. Officials warn that “the virus can still potentially incubate for up to 14 days, therefore heightened precautions and health monitoring are important.”
The County also added a COVID-19 Vaccine Information Page to its websites with updates on vaccine distribution.
Telework and virtual meetings are still recommended when possible, and it stressed the importance of on-set COVID 19 Compliance Officers keeping up on the social distancing among cast and crew, hailing the industry compliance officers, stating “You are our heroes!”