Filming for season 9 of “Chicago Fire” stopped on Sunday, Nov. 8, after several individuals working on the show tested positive for COVID-19 during the mandatory checks.
There is no mention if those who contracted the novel coronavirus are members of the cast or the crew or both. But according to Deadline, the positive tests came from Zone 1 and that these individuals “performed duties that required close proximity to other members of the cast and crew.”
In response, NBC had to shut down production on “Chicago Fire” season 9 for two weeks. The decision was done “out of an abundance of caution by Wolf Entertainment and Universal TV.” Contact tracing has since been done to abide by “guidelines set by the state/county and outlined in the NBCU Production Playbook.”
The news comes two and a half months after another “Chicago” drama series, “Chicago Med,” paused production for 14 days after two individuals tested positive for COVID-19. As for “Chicago Fire” season 9, the hiatus comes after it resumed filming on Oct. 6 and premiered on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
Fans are clearly devastated and shocked by the news. They also wished everyone a speedy recovery on social media. One tweeted, “Oh no. Well wishes to everyone. Stay safe all of u!” and another commented, “D**n, hope the cases are mild and all concerned will be okay xx.”
Earlier this month, “Chicago Fire” showrunner Derek Haas revealed how the show is handling production amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He talked about the mandatory face masks and taking the risks of filming love scenes.
“When we go out and about, outside the firehouse, we’re wearing masks when we deal with the public — as opposed to inside the firehouse where we’ve found that’s just not what’s happening,” Haas told US Weekly.
“We are testing like crazy and we would never ask actors to do anything that they don’t feel comfortable with. That’s been our policy for nine years. So, you’re gonna see romance scenes in the same way that we’ve always done them — so far,” he added.
Haas said that if there is an issue in filming “Chicago Fire” season 9 with the cast in close proximity, then they will “adjust accordingly” as they are “all figuring it out together.” He also expressed his trust in his cast and crew.