Savannah Guthrie Leaves 'Today' Early After Testing Positive for COVID-19 On-Air

Hoda Kotb isn't the only Today cast member missing from the NBC morning show. Just a few minutes into the first hour of the Tuesday, Feb. 28, show, co-anchor Savannah Guthrie was forced to leave Studio 1A early after she tested positive for COVID-19 while hosting the Today show. Kotb, meanwhile, has been absent since a pre-taped Presidents' Day episode and did not return Tuesday, though the reason for her absence is unclear.

Guthrie did not appear on Today after 7:30 a.m., the host having unexpectedly stepped away shortly after the first hour of the Tuesday broadcast began. Instead, Willie Geist filled her place, Sheinelle Jones, who typically helms Today's 3rd Hour, informed viewers at 7:41 a.m. local time. Jones later revealed during the 8 a.m. hour that Guthrie stepped away from the morning show after she received a positive COVID test after she began to feel unwell.

"By the way, it has been an interesting morning for us. As we said, Savannah left early, she wasn't feeling great, so she took a Covid test. It came back positive," Jones explained. "So, as soon as we found out, she rushed home to rest up. So Savannah, we love you, wishing you a speedy recovery."

This marks the third positive COVID test for Guthrie, who is vaccinated against the virus and received a booster shot, per Today. The Today co-host first received a positive test back in January 2022. At the time, Guthrie, who continued to work from home, told viewers that she was experiencing "little sniffles, not much more than that." Guthrie again tested positive for the virus in May 2022, telling viewers via video call, "I feel great. Honestly, I'm going to be back tomorrow. I just had a little cold, so I was really lucky with it." Guthrie remained home for five days before returning to Studio 1A.

Prior to her positive diagnosis, Guthrie in March 2020 decided to undertake a two-week self-quarantine out of "an abundance of caution" after she began to experience a sore throat and runny nose. Guthrie explained that the decision came under the advice of NBC's medical team and just after a staffer on the morning show tested positive for coronavirus. She returned to the morning show two weeks later during a time when the Today cast followed social distancing protocols by sitting six feet apart. It is unclear when Guthrie and Kotb will return to Today.