Ellen DeGeneres tests positive for COVID-19
Ellen DeGeneres says she has contracted the coronavirus, temporarily halting production of her daytime talk show.
"Hi Everyone, I want to let you all know that I tested positive for Covid-19," the daytime talk-show host, 62, wrote on her social media Thursday. "Fortunately, I'm feeling fine right now," she added. "Anyone who has been in close contact with me has been notified, and I am following all proper CDC guidelines."
Alluding to the show taking a production hiatus, she told viewers, "I'll see you all again after the holidays. Please stay healthy and safe. Love, Ellen."
A representative for Telepictures, the syndicated program's production company, confirmed to Newsday in a statement, "Following Ellen's announcement this morning, we have paused production on ... ['The Ellen DeGeneres Show'] until January."
DeGeneres' post on Instagram elicited supportive comments from her show's DJ and now co-executive producer Stephen "tWitch" Boss, who wrote, "Love you much Ellen!" His wife, former "Dancing with the Stars" pro and TV personality Allison Holker, commented separately, "We love you!! Get well." Fellow dancer Cheryl Burke, also from "DWTS," wrote, "Sending you love," while "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" star Ellie Kemper posted three heart emoji.
DeGeneres did not indicate how she might have contracted the virus, which causes the disease COVID-19.
Her multiple Daytime Emmy Award-winning show returned for season 18 on Sept. 21, following a toxic-workplace controversy that had roiled the program and led to the exits of three executive producers.
In her opening monologue that day, she addressed the accusations by current and former employees, saying in part, "As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation. I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected." She vowed, "We have made the necessary changes, and today we are starting a new chapter."
On Oct. 28, in a sign of hope amid the coronavirus pandemic, the show began welcoming a live audience again at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California, selecting 40 people daily from a backlog of 4,000 previously scheduled fans. The in-person audience, which was required to adhere to the show's COVID-19 safety protocols, joined the 70 virtual audience members who had been appearing via remote video for several weeks.