American Idol Suspends Filming to Ensure Contestants Can Return Home Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
American Idol episodes will continue to air as scheduled until the live shows, which are set to begin in April
The ABC singing competition is enacting additional precautions across its production amid the ongoing health crisis, suspending any new filming and enabling remote work for the rest of its employees, PEOPLE can confirm. Staffers are also ensuring contestants get home to their families during the health crisis.
Episodes will continue to air as scheduled until the live shows, which are set to begin in April.
A source recently told PEOPLE that American Idol judge Katy Perry “seems more cautious since she is pregnant” amid the rapid spread of COVID-19, as she and fiancé Orlando Bloom prepare to welcome their first child together this summer.
“Orlando is back at home. He isn’t sick,” the insider explained of Bloom, 43, who recently arrived back in the U.S. from Europe after production on his show Carnival Row was suspended due to the spread of the virus.
“Katy is well too. They will spend time at home together and monitor the situation,” added the source. “They are happy to be back in the U.S. They have no plans to work for now and will instead lay low.”
In addition to American Idol, production for many shows have gone dark in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Grey’s Anatomy and The Price Is Right have all temporarily shut down production. The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers have suspended production through their previously planned hiatuses, while Saturday Night Live will not resume production following its previously scheduled break.
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The first cases of the mysterious respiratory illness — what is now known as COVID-2019, a form of coronavirus — began in Wuhan, China in late December. Since then, the virus has spread worldwide, leading the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency, the first since the zika epidemic in 2016.
At first, this coronavirus was contained to China, but Wuhan is a major transportation hub with hundreds of flights leaving and landing from the city of 11 million each day. Soon, as people flew from the area to different countries, the coronavirus reached more countries, including the United States.
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The first U.S. case was found in Everett, Washington, just outside of Seattle, in a man who had recently returned from Wuhan. The number of cases grew slowly from there and the virus began to spread more rapidly in communities across the U.S.
As of Wednesday morning, there have been at least 5,881 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and 107 deaths.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes ,PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.