A crew member on CBS' FBI: Most Wanted tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Other members of the production are upset producers did not let everyone else know of the test before the result came in so they could prepare in case it was positive. Filming on the show has been on hold since March 12, when NBCUnivesal put more than 30 shows on hold.
The cast and crew were finally told about the crew member's positive test in an email Thursday morning, reports Variety, which obtained the memo. According to the message, the staffer received the positive test result on Wednesday, March 18, but had not been on the set since Wednesday, March 11. The staffer "had already recovered from a mild case by the time the test results came back today," the memo reads.
"We consulted with medical experts who have informed us that the risk level of transmission is low given that the employee did not return to work after becoming symptomatic," the memo, sent by series producer Universal Television, reads. "Even with low risk assessment, out of an abundance of caution, we took the step of identifying and reaching out to the handful of employees who had been in close proximity to the affected individual on their last day at the office."
FBI: Most Wanted director Lexi Alexander told Variety NBCUniversal told her she was one of six to 10 people who was in contact with the person who tested positive. Alexander was "furious" with human resources, who told her she was "probably fine" as long as she did not have symptoms. However, a person can still test positive for COVID-19, even without showing symptoms.
"Even if they just had a suspicion why didn't they tell us before we all flew home?" Alexander said. "If they would've told there us there was a suspicion, I would've isolated myself."
Alexander said she is in contact with almost everyone on a set and concerned about asymptomatic transmission. She also took her complains to Twitter on Wednesday.
"A Human Resource person just called to tell me that someone on the crew of my last job tested positive for Covid 19," Alexander tweeted. "Then she casually told me not to worry that I'm probably not infected. I'm furious...and as so many times in this industry, I don't know who to turn to."
Another source told Variety they were upset to learn about this situation from Twitter, especially since it was "impossible" for a crew member to only be in contact with up to 10 people on a TV set.
NBCU did give staffers a hotline for a clinical support partner, and were advised to see their own doctors if they feel sick.
FBI: Most Wanted is a spin-off of Dick Wolf's FBI series and airs on CBS Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET. The production is based in New York, and stars Kellan Lutz, Julian McMahon, Roxy Sternberg, Keisha Castle-Hughes and Nathaniel Arcand.
Other NBCUniversal productions on hold include the three Chicago shows, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, New Amsterdam and The Kelly Clarkson Show. Daniel Dae Kim was in New York to work on New Amsterdam recently, and tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
Photo credit: Mark Schafer/CBS