Chicago Med is shutting down production for two weeks after a production team member tested positive for COVID-19, Deadline reported Tuesday. The positive test came as part of NBC's medical drama's regular rapid testing procedures, when a production team member from a Zone A department was immediately sent home, according to Deadline's sources.
Producers Wolf Entertainment and Universal TV then to pause production in order to be cautious, as the production team member was in close proximity with the cast and crew. Last week, a second member of the same department had also tested positive. The shutdown comes just a week after Chicago Med began filming for the upcoming Season 6, which as of now is still planned for a Wednesday, Nov. 11 premiere alongside Chicago spinoffs Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D., both of which are set to begin filming next month. While it's unlikely there will be physical character crossovers for a while due to cross-set safety precautions, there could be a virtual appearance across shows in the franchise.
Season 5 of Chicago Med was forced to end early in April due to the coronavirus pandemic, forcing the shows to wrap up their season arcs early. "The safety and health of our cast, crew and employees is our top priority," NBCU said in a statement in March. "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."
Season 6 will be the first of an unprecedented three-season renewal NBCUniversal announced in February for all three Chicago shows as part of a deal with producer/co-creator Dick Wolf. The shows will also be exclusive to NBCU's new Peacock streaming service, which launched across the U.S. last month.
"This new term deal complements our recently concluded agreement to make Peacock one of the primary destinations for both the [Law & Order] and Chicago brands, as well as our extraordinary three-year NBC broadcast pickups on all four current series," Wolf said in a statement at the time. "We are now supercharged to expand our business on new platforms, both domestically and internationally, while continuing to produce our current and future series for broadcasting and streaming networks." Chicago Med returns for Season 6 on Wednesday, November 11 at 8 p.m. ET, followed by Chicago Fire's Season 9 premiere at 9 p.m. ET and Chicago P.D.'s Season 8 premiere at 10 p.m. ET, all on NBC.