Today Show meteorologist Al Roker said he is "feeling fine" after the show announced one of its staffers tested positive for coronavirus. Roker and co-anchor Craig Melvin were pulled off the air because the staffer works with them on the show's third hour. The 65-year-old Roker later took to Twitter to assure fans he is doing well and will be self-quarantining with his family for 15 days.
"Feeling fine. Don't worry about us," Roker tweeted on Monday, along with a video of Today anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb announcing the staffer's diagnosis. "Thinking about our colleagues and all those who are really suffering. And God Bless the health care providers and [First Responders] helping."
Later, Roker posted an update, letting fans know he is not feeling any symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Roker and he and his wife, ABC News journalist Deborah Roberts, are self-isolating.
"Feeling great this am. Thinking about our friend and colleague," Melvin tweeted. "Thinking about everyone grappling with this right now. I'll be fine. So will we."
Today's Monday broadcast began with Kotb and Guthrie telling viewers about the staffer's positive diagnosis. The two journalists were also sitting further apart from each other at the morning show's desk.
"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," Guthrie said. "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. Both are fine right now. They feel good. But caution is the order of the day."
Kotb said Roker and Melvin "feel great," but "we're just trying to play exactly by the rules."
NBC News president Noah Oppenheim said the staffer started feeling "mild symptoms" of COVID-19 and went to a doctor to be tested. All NBC News employees who work with the staffer have been asked to self-isolate.
"We are fully supporting our colleague, who is experiencing mild symptoms and receiving medical care, and I know you join me in sending our very best for a quick recovery," Oppenheim said in a statement, adding that NBC News is "taking all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our teams, which includes multiple deep cleanings of our offices, control room and Studio 1A."
Late last week, the Today Show joined the long list of shows to be filmed without a live audience.
"We are missing something that's really important to us on this show and that's our crowd that we normally would show you at this time," Guthrie said on the show. "But we are following the guidance of health officials, and we are suspending live audiences here at our plaza — for now — just trying to do our part, but we miss you and we hope to invite you back soon."0comments
There are over 4,200 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S., and 74 deaths.
Photo credit: Tyler Essary/NBC/Getty Images