3rd Hour of Today Employee Has Coronavirus, Al Roker and Craig Melvin Off as a Precaution
"We hope and wish they come back soon," said Hoda Kotb of the precautionary measure
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Overnight, NBC was informed that a member of the 3rd Hour of Today has been diagnosed with the respiratory virus, according to a press release. As the company investigates who came into contact with the coworker, employees on that team were asked to work from home, and personalities Al Roker and Craig Melvin did not appear on Monday morning’s broadcast.
“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,” said Savannah Guthrie during Monday’s show. “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.”
Hoda Kotb added that both co-hosts said they “feel great” and that everyone on staff is practicing caution.
“We’re just trying to play exactly by the rules,” she said. “We hope and wish they come back soon.”
In a statement, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim said the company 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.”
“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,” said Oppenheim.
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Earlier this month, Kotb, 55, stayed home sick for a week as she recovered from the flu. When she returned to the show last Monday alongside Guthrie, 48, Melvin, 40, Roker, 65, and Carson Daly, the star said she felt much better.
“I feel 100 percent better,” Kotb told audiences at the time. “I can’t believe the flu does hit like a hammer; I know a lot of folks have it. But [I’m] back in business, rested and ready.”
Last week, Kotb had come down with the flu days after returning from a trip to Orlando, Florida, where the entire Today team went on a winter getaway to celebrate their new Today Café at the Universal Orlando Resort.
Though she had gotten the flu shot, it didn’t prevent her from getting sick.
“It’s funny how it can knock you flat for a few days,” Kotb told co-host Jenna Bush Hager, later during Today with Hoda and Jenna. “You really have to listen to your body and say, ‘I’m going to drink soup, I’m going to stay in bed.’”