“The family was on a trip in the Caribbean when told to shelter in place and decided to stay put,” the source says.
Ripa discussed their decision during a virtual townhall on Thursday with ABC employees moderated by Sandy Kenyon.
"We had planned a trip for our family, and it was supposed to be our entire family of course," said Ripa, according to a source at the town hall. "And we arrive and three days later, the entire world changed, really. I mean, everything shut down; the government shut down; our country shut down. I hate to use the word stuck, but we were. We decided to stay where we were."
Ripa added that what was "distressing" was that both her and Consuelos' parents were supposed to join them a week later.
"Lucky for us, we had our three children," she added. "And then, you know, it was supposed to be a two-week trip and we wound up going right back to work. Ryan and I both decided it was better to do the show, because we just felt like in with everything that was going on in the world that perhaps, some normalcy of just doing what we normally do, even though it was like in very unusual circumstances, would be the best thing for us. "
"I've been most grateful that at least I have my adult children with me. I mean, we have family staying in our house and they're still back home and we're here and it's very unsettling," Ripa continued. "I think people are unsettled everywhere, everywhere, across the country and across the globe. So, I think it's been a great benefit for us to have each other, to have our viewing audience and just to hear Brian Chapman's voice in my ear, our director first thing in the morning. It just normalizes everything as abnormal as it all is."
Sharing a post about their son Michael's recent graduation from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts on Thursday, Consuelos alluded to their sheltering in place together, writing, "Happy virtual graduation MJC. We are so proud of you. #quarentinegraduation2020 we know it’s not what we all expected but we are so grateful to be all together on what I know must seem like the longest family trip ever..."
Ripa has been remotely filming episodes of Live with Kelly and Ryan since late March as the show's New York City studio has been shut down in order to abide by social distancing guidelines.
The host also praised son Michael for his graduation, proudly sharing photos from NYU's virtual ceremony thrown by the institution to honor its class of 2020 on her Instagram Stories on Thursday.
In one post, Ripa wrote alongside a picture of the online celebration: "Congratulations @michaelconsway."
Another shows Michael's name highlighted among other graduates from his class. Ripa captioned the shot: "#nyutisch #nyu #2020."
The graduation ceremony was held online after the original Salute to the Class of 2020, which was scheduled to take place at the Radio City Music Hall, had been postponed due to the ongoing pandemic.
Ripa previously opened up about her son's big milestone, admitting on last week's episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan that she was a bit disappointed when she realized Michael would not be able to walk across a physical stage to accept his diploma.
"We've had some quarantine anxiety in our house lately, but I think that's seeming more from my end of things," she shared. "Because I realize that my firstborn, my firstborn child, is graduating from college in a couple of days and it's definitely not what we expected."
However, Ripa said her son has been taking the whole situation in stride.
"He's one of these very uniquely special kids, he's just been kind his entire life and he's such a good person, a hard worker, that I wanted some big event celebrating him," she said. "And he, in typical Michael fashion, said, 'Well, it's not a big deal. As long as I still get my degree, it's fine.' "
Ripa continued: "I think a lot of kids are devastated. And rightly so. They worked so hard and they're not getting to have their big day. But he truly doesn't seem bothered at all."
The mom posted a sweet snap of Michael and his commencement tassel as a tribute to his major accomplishment on Wednesday.
"This kid! #NYU #2020," Ripa wrote over the picture, which showed the graduate wearing an NYU T-shirt, giving a thumbs up while Ripa held on to the tassel with a chain that read: "proud mom."
Recently, Ripa and Consuelos donated half a million dollars to support homeless children and families. The donation was made to WIN, an organization running 11 women’s shelters across New York City.
The funds will help ensure that homeless children have the technology they need to excel via virtual learning. The generous donation will allow WIN to purchase iPads, laptops and headphones for hundreds of young students who are unable to be in school as a result of the global health crisis.
"Learning remotely under the best of circumstances is very challenging," Ripa said of her and Consuelos reason for giving. "Without proper technology, it is simply impossible."
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