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COVID-19 strikes some members of ‘DWTS’ crew, but show’s ‘Stars’ are safe

LOS ANGELES — Just as Los Angeles County dropped its mask requirement on public transit and in airports, that big bus known as “Dancing with the Stars” pulled into the station with a small COVID-19 outbreak after its premiere Monday.

Don’t worry: None of the “Stars” has fallen ill.

Four production employees out of 300 tested positive for the virus over the course of five days, a “DWTS” spokesperson said Friday via email. The four people work in different departments that don’t have in-person contact with each other.

In response, the production disinfected the entire set, instituted immediate contact tracing and as an extra precaution asked the majority of its employees to work from home.

“No close contact of the four positive production employees has since tested positive,” the spokesperson said.

The show’s COVID-19 compliance officer provided that information to the Department of Public Health and was cleared to continue production, the spokesperson said.

The production also works with a “strict” pod system, which a representative of the show explained to People last October after contestant Cody Rigsby and pro Cheryl Burke tested positive. "[A]ll couples have their own hair and makeup so the pods are no more than four people.” When couples rehearsed last season, they were alone in the rehearsal room with only a robotic camera to capture their activity for the show.

In addition to a roster of professional dancers, the Season 31 “DWTS” cast includes Selma Blair of “Cruel Intentions,” Trevor Donovan from “90210,” Daniel Durant of “CODA,” Cheryl Ladd of “Charlie’s Angels,” Jason Lewis from “Sex and the City,” “Let’s Make a Deal” host Wayne Brady, country singer Jessie James Decker, “Good Morning America” weatherman Sam Champion, “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks, Gabby Windey of “The Bachelorette,” Vinny Guadagnino of “Jersey Shore,” Teresa Giudice of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” Shangela from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” bodybuilder and model Joseph Baena and Charli and Heidi D’Amelio from “The D’Amelio Show.”

“Dancing With the Stars” is streaming live and commercial-free for the first time this season exclusively on subscription streaming service Disney+. Tyra Banks and Alfonso Ribiero host the show, and Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman and Derek Hough make up the judges panel.


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