The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is asking the film industry to “strongly consider” pausing production for a few weeks due to rising COVID-19 cases. In an email sent to industry contacts December 24, published by FilmLA, the official film office of the city and county, the department recommended winding down operations for the time being. “Although music, TV and film productions are allowed to operate, we ask you to strongly consider pausing work for a few weeks during this catastrophic surge in COVID cases,” the LADPH wrote. “Identify and delay higher risk activities, and focus on lower-risk work for now, if at all possible.” It also warned that traveling for production purposes is “currently not advised,” as it may make it “more likely that people will end up together in vehicles or indoors in less-controlled settings.” Tom Cruise, you reading this?
The health advisory comes as Los Angeles County reports 13,661 new daily cases of COVID-19 and 73 new deaths. On December 23, California became the first state to surpass 2 million COVID-19 cases, resulting in crowded hospitals even during the state’s stay-at-home order. An official announcement from California governor Gavin Newsom regarding the extension of stay-at-home orders is expected on Tuesday.