During Monday's episode of the Today show, co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb revealed that a staffer on the third hour of Today had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Taking to the air with their co-hosts Al Roker and Craig Melvin absent beside them, the two having been pulled from the show as a precaution, Guthrie and Kotb opened up about the diagnosis and sent their support to their co-workers.
"Before we go further, a personal note for this show: Last night we learned that a colleague of ours on the third hour of Today has tested positive for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus," Guthrie informed viewers watching from home, the talk show currently opting out of the typical in-studio audience. "So out of an abundance of caution, Craig and Al have taken the morning off so we can trace their contacts, see what's going on with them. We promise to keep you posted, both are fine right now, they feel good."
We learned late last night a colleague on the 3rd hour of TODAY tested positive for COVID-19.
Out of an abundance of caution, Craig and Al are taking the morning off while we map that colleague’s close contacts. pic.twitter.com/aVHJpMU1Fj— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 16, 2020
Kotb added that both Roker and Melvin "feel great" and that the talk show is "just trying to play exactly by the rules."
At this time, neither Roker not Melvin have addressed their absence, though they have both spoken out about the coronavirus pandemic in recent days.
In a Facebook video shared on Saturday, just before NBC employees learned of that a staffer had tested positive, Roker said that "we will get through this, all of us" and encouraged his fans to "hang in there…and take it one day at a time."
Meanwhile, Melvin, on Instagram, has given his followers frequent updates on how he is dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, which includes resorting back to eating carbs as store shelves remained cleared.
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"We have learned that a TODAY employee based at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and working for the 9am hour has tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19)," NBC News president Noah Oppenheim wrote to staff, according to Page Six. "We are fully supporting our colleague, who is experiencing mild symptoms and receiving medical care, and I know you join me in sending our very best for a quick recovery."
According to the memo, NBC is "taking all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our teams, which includes multiple deep cleanings of our offices, control room and Studio 1A."
The company is also "identifying employees who had been in close proximity to the affected employee and…are in the process of asking those who had close contact to self-isolate."