March 16, 2020 | 8:11am “Today’s” Al Roker and Craig Melvin are taking time off after a colleague on the third hour of the show contracted coronavirus. Anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb announced the news on Monday morning — while practicing social distancing themselves and sitting apart. The stars said Roker and Melvin will…
March 16, 2020 | 8:11am
Anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb announced the news on Monday morning — while practicing social distancing themselves and sitting apart. The stars said Roker and Melvin will be off the air for just a day as a precaution.
Guthrie told viewers: “Last night we learned that a colleague of ours on the third hour of ‘Today’ has tested positive for COVID-19 … so out of an abundance of caution, Craig and Al have taken the morning off, so we can trace their contacts, see what is going on with them, we promise to keep you posted, both are fine right now. They feel good, but caution is the order of the day.”
The anchors also said they were sitting apart from each other to be careful. At the 8 a.m. hour, Guthrie revealed the staffer in question is a man and said they are thinking of him.
In a memo obtained by The Post, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim wrote to staff: “We have learned that a TODAY employee based at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and working for the 9am hour has tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19). We are fully supporting our colleague, who is experiencing mild symptoms and receiving medical care, and I know you join me in sending our very best for a quick recovery.
“As you know, we have been preparing for this possibility and are taking all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our teams, which includes multiple deep cleanings of our offices, control room and Studio 1A.
“Additionally, we are identifying employees who had been in close proximity to the affected employee and — while not required to do so by the NY Health Department — are in the process of asking those who had close contact to self-isolate.”
Oppenheim said he was asking all members of the 9 a.m. editorial team to work from home Monday “while we complete the social mapping exercise” and said staffers’ health and safety “are our top priority.”
He added: “This is in addition to our ongoing plan to have Tri-state area employees work remotely or stagger work hours, when possible.”