Craig Melvin Returns to Today Studio After 10-Day Coronavirus Self-Quarantine: 'Good to Be Back'
"[It's] surreal," Craig Melvin said of being back on the 3rd Hour of Today
Craig Melvin returned to NBC’s Studio 1A on Wednesday to host the 3rd Hour of Today for the first time in nearly two weeks.
The newscaster, 40, had been voluntarily self-quarantining at home out of an abundance of caution after a staffer on the 3rd Hour of Today was diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19). He hasn’t been in the studio since March 13.
“Good to be back in the studio,” Melvin wrote Wednesday on Instagram, captioning a photo of his coffee mug from set.
“[It’s] surreal,” he said on the show, of being back after 11 days. “Everything about it is surreal. The drive in, just about every other part of this country right now, streets are empty, sidewalks are empty. You know this studio is usually teaming with people. It is me and [two other people]. That’s it. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“We’ll get through it,” he insisted. “We’ll get through it.”
Melvin’s co-anchor, Al Roker, remained at home as of Wednesday, broadcasting from his dining room.
Both newscasters had been checking in with their Today team daily, and Roker kept up with his weather report segments from his kitchen.
Meanwhile, Today anchors Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie have been hosting Today from two different locations — Kotb from the studio and Guthrie from from a virtual studio set up in the basement of her home.
Guthrie decided to work from home just before the March 18 broadcast, telling viewers on air that she had come down with a “mild sore throat and runny nose” and wanted to self-isolate out of “an abundance of caution” and to “really model the vigilance that the CDC is asking of all of us right now.”
“I wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but we are in different times aren’t we?” Guthrie said.
The rest of the Today team have been off for different reasons (save for Willie Geist, who hosted Sunday Today from in-studio).
Jenna Bush Hager has remained at home to practice social distancing after taking a week off for her kids’ spring break. Carson Daly is with his wife Siri, who is pregnant with their fourth child — a girl, due any day. Sheinelle Jones is recovering from vocal surgery, having removed a polyp on her vocal cord that was harming her ability to speak. And Dylan Dreyer is still on maternity leave following the birth of her second child, Oliver George, on Jan. 2.
On Friday, NBC Chairman Andy Lack announced that network audio technician Larry Edgeworth, 61, had died from coronavirus complications. Edgeworth worked at NBC for 25 years.
As of Wednesday morning, at least 53,852 people across every state in the United States, plus Washington, D.C., and three U.S. territories, have tested positive for COVID-19, according to The New York Times. At least 728 patients with the virus have died.
New York State accounts for about half of the country’s known coronavirus cases, with New York City becoming the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S.
On Tuesday, the White House urged anyone who had traveled to New York to self-quarantine for 14 days to stop the virus’ spread.
“You may have been exposed before you left New York,” said State Department doctor Deborah Birx at a White House news conference on Tuesday. “Everybody who was in New York should be self-quarantining for the next 14 days to ensure that the virus doesn’t spread to others.”
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.