'Chicago Fire' Suspends Production After Positive COVID-19 Tests

NBC's Chicago Fire has paused production for two weeks after several production team members tested positive for COVID-19. Currently filming its ninth season, Deadline reported Wednesday that the drama series halted production on Sunday, Nov. 8 and will not resume for 14 days, or until on or after Nov. 22, due to increased precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the outlet, Wolf Entertainment and Universal TV suspended production after several individuals produced positive results. Those individuals, who are believed to be in Zone 1 (as series resumed productions, "zones" were created to protect to cast and crew members), performed duties that required proximity to other members of the cast and crew. The test results triggered guidelines set by the state and county, such as contact tracing.

The shutdown comes just a little more than a month after a similar scenario played out on the set of fellow Chicago Universe series Chicago Med. In late September, production on that series was paused for two weeks after a production team member tested positive for the virus. That team member, who was sent home, worked in the Zone A department. The positive test came as part of NBC's medical drama's regular rapid testing procedures. Chicago Med is currently filming for its sixth season, which premiered Wednesday alongside Chicago Fire and Chicago PD.

All series in the Chicago Universe have been impacted by the virus, with production on Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, and Chicago PD having been shut down alongside the production of more than 30 shows in March as coronavirus-related restrictions began to roll out throughout the country.

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"The safety and health of our cast, crew and employees is our top priority," NBCU said in a statement at the time. "Where possible, we are pausing production for two weeks as a precautionary measure, following which we will reassess and determine an appropriate start date. In some cases, we are accelerating plans to wrap up physical production."

Due to the shutdowns, all three series aired their season finales early. On Sept. 22, Chicago Med became the first Chicago One drama to restart production, with Chicago Fire and Chicago PD. following on Oct. 6. All three series film in Chicago, with the state recently setting a record for the second day in a row with 12,657 new cases. However, the return to filming has come with several changes as production companies enact new safety measures, such as frequent testing and social distancing on set when possible.