Saturday Night Live will go on as planned this weekend, in spite of a positive COVID-19 test within the NBC headquarters in New York City. On Friday, an email was sent out to all residents of 20 Rockefeller Plaza, warning that somebody had tested positive for the coronavirus. NBC employees were reportedly informed that this would not impact SNL, nor any other NBC productions.
A source with knowledge of this email spoke to reporters from The Wrap, explaining that it will have "no impact" on SNL. Other shows back in the NYC studio include The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers, but none intend to change their imminent plans for this coronavirus case. NBC is just one of several companies working out of the building on Rockefeller Plaza, and the identity of the coronavirus patient was kept private.
The Wrap obtained the email itself, which was sent from the company that manages 30 Rockefeller Plaza to the companies that rent space in it. The email noted that the Department of Health had also been notified of the positive case.
"It goes without saying that the health and well-being of our tenants, staff, customers, partners and vendors is our top priority, and we ware undertaking deep cleaning measures in the tenant space and all common spaces in the building to ensure the safest possible working environment," the email read.
The coronavirus pandemic has already impacted Saturday Night Live this week, as it had to drop musical guest Morgan Wallen at the last minute. Wallen was seen in videos on social media partying in a large group, without a mask on and without observing social distancing protocols. While Wallen has still not tested positive, he was dropped by producers out of an abundance of caution.
"I'm not positive for COVID, but my actions from this past weekend were pretty short-sighted, and have obviously affected my long-term goals and my dreams," Wallen said on Instagram. "I respect the show's decision because I know that I put them in jeopardy."
SNL was able to get rock 'n roller Jack White as a last minute replacement for Wallen, and even worked in promotions of White wearing a mask on his way to New York City. Still, the news of a positive case in the building on Friday has some critics second-guessing the show's safety measures, and questioning whether it is worth it to continue producing the show in person.