'General Hospital': Kelly Monaco 'Temporarily' Recast After 'Breathing Issue'

When new episodes of General Hospital finally air on ABC, Sam McCall will look a little different. Kelly Monaco, who plays the character, is being replaced by former Passions actress Lindsay Hartley on a temporary basis. Monaco's mother Carmina Monaco said her daughter was recently quarantined following a breathing issue but has tested negative for the coronavirus three times.

Over the weekend, Daytime Confidential reported Monaco's part was "temporarily recast," with Hartley stepping in for "a couple of weeks." Hartley is best known for playing Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald Crane Winthrop on Passions, Cara Castillo on All My Children and Arianna Hernandez on Days of Our Lives. She has also appeared in several Lifetime movies.

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Hartley confirmed she was back to work during the coronavirus pandemic on July 27, sharing a photo of herself wearing a face mask on set. She also retweeted Daytime Confidential's report. "Some big shoes to fill...precious too," she wrote. "I hope you enjoy watching Sam as much as I have enjoyed playing her, temporarily."

After a fan wondered if Monaco was doing well, her mother Carmina quickly assured fans the actress is healthy. "Kelly is great and should be back on set Monday. 14-day quarantine after a breathing problem with mask 1st day back. 3 negative COVID test, I’d say she is better than great," Carmina wrote. "Thank you for all of the love."

"Kelly is safe and healthy," Carmina wrote to another fan. "First day back she had a hard time with the COVID mask and was given a rather unexpected 14-day quarantine even though she tested negative twice for COVID and a third negative test for COVID antibodies. She is excited to get back on set next week."

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Monaco, 44, has been playing Sam McCall since 2003. She competed on Dancing With The Stars in Seasons 1 and 15 and starred in the GH spinoff Port Charles as Livvie Locke from 2000 to 2003. She earned Daytime Emmy nominations for Port Charles in 2003 and General Hospital in 2006.

General Hospital production went on hold in March, as production across Hollywood was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic. ABC ran out of new episodes in May and plan to air the first new episodes on Monday. Filming resumed during the third week of July, a week later than planned. The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful, which air on CBS, also resumed production in July. NBC's Days of Our Lives will not run out of new episodes until October and plans to begin filming in September.