Currently, Days of our Lives is the only one of the four soap operas left airing new episodes. The Bold and the Beautiful, General Hospital, and The Young and The Restless are all broadcasting classic reruns. The Powers That Be — producers, unions, studios, et. al. — are doing their best to get things lined up so people can return to work but it’s not going to happen overnight.
Can Soap Operas Get Back Into Production Soon?
According to Variety, a 22-page white paper (report) was sent to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office and one will also be sent to California Gov. Gavin Newsom and to the Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health.
Key components of the report include an emphasis on regular testing of cast and crew and other set personnel to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing is also of great importance. “Physical distancing involves maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from any other person at all times,” reads the report, “except when doing so is incompatible with one’s job duties. Cast and crew should avoid congregating in groups.”
It’s recommended that actors wear PPE (personal protective equipment). It’s vital to keep unnecessary contact to a minimum. Makeup artists and hairstylists should observe hand hygiene practices immediately after completing their tasks.
“Productions shall emphasize and reinforce to all cast and crew that working while sick with symptoms of COVID-19 is not permitted,” the document noted.
A COVID-19 Compliance Officer, according to the report, should be “accessible in the workplace at all times during work hours and all personnel should have access to the COVID-19 Compliance Officer(s). All cast and crew shall be informed who the COVID-19 Compliance Officer is and how to contact him or her.”
It’s also recommended that craft service buffets (snacks and food) will be done away with. The report noted that: “Meals and snacks should be served in individually packaged or wrapped portions. Avoid shared communal trays or bowls. Eating utensils should be disposable and individually wrapped.”
Teamsters Local 399, which represents drivers, animal wranglers, and location managers in The Hollywood area, said, “There is still a lot of work ahead of us to not only ensure the safety of our Members on set but also to ensure the jobs of our Members and our Collective Bargaining Agreements are protected throughout this process.”
The Variety report states that there is no scheduled day for productions to resume, including soap operas. One thing’s for certain – many people are ready to get back to work — especially our favorite soap stars!
Last week, prior to protests and riots that have swept across America commenced, Camryn Grimes (Mariah, The Young and the Restless) tweeted: “I swear to god I’m going to burst into tears when I get the call we can go back to work. I miss everyone so flipping much. I miss my friends. I miss playing. I miss Mariah. I miss @YRInsider. Period. #yr.”
I swear to god I’m going to burst into tears when I get the call we can go back to work.
— Camryn Grimes (@camryngrimes) May 28, 2020