Ryan Seacrest Returns to Live After Two-Day Absence, Confirms He Tested Negative for COVID
On Wednesday, Seacrest, 45, reunited with co-host Kelly Ripa on their ABC syndicated morning talk show after a two-day absence. The day prior, a source confirmed to PEOPLE that Seacrest had tested negative for COVID-19.
"Thank you for covering, following the strict protocol," the American Idol host told Ripa, 50, at the start of Wednesday's show.
"Got the negative test results for COVID. Makes you feel very good," he added.
"I didn't have any doubts," Ripa told her co-host.
On Tuesday, the show announced on Instagram that Seacrest was staying home until his COVID-19 results were in, sharing a behind-the-scenes video of Ripa by herself on set. In the video, the co-host sat alone at the desk, outlining their health and safety protocols. "We have all of these new restrictions now, so this is one. We have to wait until he comes back negative before he can get in here," she said. "It's public health. We take it seriously."
A source told PEOPLE on Tuesday that Seacrest "had a minimal cough, and out of precaution wanted to make sure he had a negative test before going back to Live, which he did."
"He will be back in the chair tomorrow," the source added.
Ripa and Seacrest returned to Live's New York City studio in September, reuniting in person for the first time since March to host their hit morning program. (The show had been broadcasting remotely since amid the ongoing pandemic.)
Season 33 debuted on Sep. 7 with a special Labor Day cookout episode filmed outside. The following day, the co-hosts returned to the studio, albeit without an audience.
"I'm not coming back if I have to wear pants or bottoms of any kind," Ripa joked on Jimmy Kimmel Live! back in July. "I like this from the waist up sort of thing that we're doing. So I think we should build a studio that you can't see what we're wearing from the waist down."
Seacrest has been co-hosting alongside Ripa since 2017, when he took over after Michael Strahan's exit.
Live with Kelly and Ryan! airs weekdays (check local listings).