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LA County urges film and television to ‘consider taking a break for a few weeks’ amid outbreak – Deadline

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is urging the film and television industry to consider halting production for a few weeks during the continued surge in coronavirus cases across the county. “While music, television and film productions are permitted,” the health department said, “we urge you to seriously consider taking a break from work for a few weeks during this catastrophic surge in Covid cases. Identify and delay high-risk activities and focus on low-risk work for now, if possible. “

The latest message from LA Public Health, excerpts from which were posted today on FilmLA’s website, was sent to the ministry’s industry contacts on December 24. deaths that reflect delayed reporting due to blackouts and the holiday weekend. LA Public Health reported 13,580 new positive cases and 44 new deaths on Sunday.

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On November 1, the average number of new cases in LA County was approximately 1,200; this number “now systematically exceeds 13,000 cases per day and some days exceed 15,000 cases,” LA Public Health said on Monday, reporting 6,914 people with Covid-19 currently hospitalized and 20% of these people in intensive care.

The Department of Health’s message to FilmLA, the county’s film licensing office, also reminded filmmakers that “travel for production purposes is not currently recommended.” Although the state allows travel for productions, the department noted that travel increases the risk of transmission of the virus “by increasing the likelihood that people will end up together in vehicles or indoors in less controlled environments. “.

“Hospitals are full almost everywhere,” noted LA Health, and urged filmmakers to “keep the cast and crew close to home.” Further clarifying travel and quarantine requirements, the ministry noted that the county’s general practitioner quarantine order was recently updated to include a shorter 10-day quarantine option. Annex J – the health standards applicable to local film productions – will soon be updated to reflect this. Even with these adjustments, however, officials warn that “the virus can still potentially incubate for up to 14 days, therefore increased precautions and health surveillance are important.”

With two coronavirus vaccines approved for use and thousands of frontline healthcare workers already receiving their first doses, LA County Health has reassured filmmakers that “there is a light at the end of the tunnel.” A new Covid-19 vaccine information page was recently added to the county website, featuring weekly updates, a Myth-Busters vaccine safety guide, and a mailing list and dashboard of dedicated data to monitor vaccine distribution.

County health officials have repeatedly thanked the film industry for its efforts to control the surge in Covid-19. According to LADPH, helpful practices include “moving more work outside, delaying high-risk jobs, and putting some production on hiatus altogether.” And now more than ever, the department said, it’s critical that on-set Covid-19 compliance officials remind staff on set to “maintain physical distance” and “keep people apart” when they drift. together. “

“You are our heroes!” the department’s update says industry compliance officers.

To date, there have been 719,833 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Los Angeles County and 9,482 deaths.

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