Embattled day time TV personality Ellen DeGeneres has tested positive for COVID-19 and will now hit pause on production of her talk show for the remainder of 2020, just two months after production recommenced in October.
“Hi everyone, I want to let you all know that I tested positive for COVID-19…. Fortunately, I’m feeling fine right now,” DeGeneres tweeted.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 10, 2020
The news comes as LA County, where her show is filmed, had on Wednesday hit its second highest daily rise in COVID-19 cases (9,243), since the pandemic started earlier this year. California has so far tallied more than 475,000 cases of infection, with 8,075 deaths from COVID-19. As of Thursday, the US recorded over 15.4 million cases and 289,970 deaths
DeGeneres had been hosting her show live from the studio, with guests appearing both virtually and in person. DeGeneres went on to confirm that all close contacts had been notified and that she was “following all proper CDC guidelines.”
It is unknown if DeGeneres’ wife, Australia model and actress Portia de Rossi has also contracted COVID-19.
When forced to respond to the allegations, DeGeneres in a taped apology said, “If I’ve ever let someone down, if I’ve ever hurt their feelings, I am so sorry for that… If that’s ever the case, I’ve let myself down and I’ve hurt myself as well.”
As a result of a subsequent internal investigation, three of the shows top producers exited the show, and ratings have fallen some 37% since last season.
When production did recommence, the in-studio audience, which was capped at 40 were required to wear masks, maintain proper social distancing and had to pass a health screening.