The Today Show on NBC has revealed that one of their staff members has tested positive for coronavirus.
It was announced that Craig Melvin and Al Roker would both be “taking the morning off” after the colleague, who has not been named, was confirmed as having COVID-19.
The news comes as new efforts are announced daily to try and curb the spread of the disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Sunday that there must be an end to any gatherings with 50 people or more for two months — including weddings, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, or conferences.
Coronavirus on the Today Show
The Today Show announced the news about their employee live on air and in a post on Twitter, which also explained how the news had lead to a major shift in their normal lineup of on-air talent.
They said, “We learned late last night a colleague on the 3rd hour of TODAY tested positive for COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution, Craig and Al are taking the morning off while we map that colleague’s close contacts.”
We learned late last night a colleague on the 3rd hour of TODAY tested positive for COVID-19.
Out of an abundance of caution, Craig and Al are taking the morning off while we map that colleague’s close contacts. pic.twitter.com/aVHJpMU1Fj
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 16, 2020
According to Variety, the positive case of coronavirus was a staffer who is part of the third-hour production group on the morning program.
Today host Savannah Guthrie told viewers:
“Personal note, for this show: Last night we learned that a colleague of ours on the third hour of ‘Today’ has tested positive for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.
“So out of an abundance of caution, Craig and Al have taken the morning off, so we can trace their contacts, see what’s going on with them. We promise to keep you posted.
What the Today hosts are saying
After the news was announced, both Roker and Melvin took to Twitter to share positive posts about the situation.
Weather guru Roker wrote, “Feeling fine. Don’t worry about us. Thinking about our colleagues and all those who are really suffering. And God Bless the health care providers and #FirstResponders helping.”
Feeling fine. Don’t worry about us. Thinking about our colleagues and all those who are really suffering. And God Bless the health care providers and #FirstResponders helping https://t.co/dmfXg1Ves1
— Al Roker (@alroker) March 16, 2020
Feeling great this am. Thinking about our friend and colleague. Thinking about everyone grappling with this right now. I’ll be fine. So will we. https://t.co/SUOxmdLKPU
— Craig Melvin (@craigmelvin) March 16, 2020
Hoda Kotb also took to Twitter to share an upbeat message, tweeting out a post about a woman who had a box of chocolates left at her door, with a note saying, “If anyone needs anything during this crazy time — loo roll, help with shopping/errands, if you are elderly or disabled, a cup of sugar etc, or just need an extra hand, we are happy to help. Please knock or leave us a note. — Flat 85.”
A woman in london posted this note in her apt building. She heard a knock on her door and when she opened it no one was there… but there was this box of chocolates ❤️ pic.twitter.com/7COb8uLwrk
— Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) March 16, 2020
Since March 12, Today has officially suspended the live audiences that typically gather around the show at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
The lack of crowds was explained to viewers on the show last week, with Savannah Guthrie also posting a Tweet saying, “Hope to see you soon, friends.”
Hope to see you soon, friends https://t.co/V8Yp4a3Dsz
— Savannah Guthrie (@SavannahGuthrie) March 12, 2020
The Today Show airs daily from 7 AM to 11 AM ET on NBC.