Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest Host 'Live' 's First 2022 Show Virtually 'Out of an Abundance of Caution'

On Monday's episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan, co-hosts Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest appeared virtually as COVID-19 cases surge

kelly ripa, ryan seacrest

Live with Kelly and Ryan is filming virtually as coronavirus cases spike due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

On Monday, co-hosts Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest began the episode by explaining why they're filming the show remotely.

"Good morning, everyone! Don't adjust your dials," Ripa, 51, said. "We're coming to you from the studio, which we made to look like two separate bedrooms. It is January 3, 2022!"

Seacrest, 47, chimed in, "Are you sure?"

"It seems like January 3, 2021," the American Idol host continued. "We're back at home out of an abundance of caution with the Omicron virus."

Ripa then addressed the widespread surge in COVID-19 cases. The morning show shoots in New York City, a region that broke a new daily record with nearly 50,000 new cases on Saturday.

"I don't think there's a person in America right now, and probably Canada, who doesn't know somebody who has COVID right now — this new variant of the coronavirus or has had it recently or is about to get it," she said. "So out of an abundance of caution right now, we are back home."

Ripa additionally shared a behind-the-scenes look at filming from home, uploading a photo of herself and Seacrest preparing to go live. The All My Children alum captioned the post, "This again."

kelly ripa, ryan seacrest
Kelly Ripa/Instagram

Prior to Monday's episode, Seacrest hosted ABC's annual Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest special from Times Square on Friday evening. He told USA Today before the main event that the pandemic "has to be top of mind as we continue to work through this difficult time."

Live with Kelly and Ryan has faced filming setbacks amid the COVID pandemic. Ripa and Seacrest began co-hosting the series remotely in March 2020 as a result, though they were later able to reunite in-studio that September after 180 days apart.

"It's gonna be a minute, because we are used to shooting the show through a computer screen," Ripa said at the beginning of their return episode as Seacrest added, "When we started going through our computer screens at home, I got so used to it, I forgot how to do this."

Several COVID-19 safety regulations were put in place ahead of the in-person return, including not having a studio audience present.

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"Everyone will be wearing masks. The hosts will be six feet apart at least. We're cutting down tremendously on the number of people in the studio," executive producer Michael Gelman said in August 2020, according to New York-based ABC affiliate WABC-TV. "We're going to stay safe, but we'll at least be doing our jobs more like the old normal in the new normal."

One month after the show's in-studio return, Seacrest was absent for two days as he waited for his COVID-19 test results to come back negative.

"Thank you for covering, following the strict protocol," he said to Ripa at the time. "Got the negative test results for COVID. Makes you feel very good."

Check your local listings for Live with Kelly and Ryan.

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