The season 31 premiere of Dancing with the Stars may have gone off without a hitch, but the ongoing pandemic still managed to take some sparkle out of the mirror ball: at least four cases of Covid were reported after the show’s Sept. 19 premiere on Disney+.
A DWTS spokesperson told Deadline that all four individuals on the crew who tested positive work in “completely different departments that do not have in person contact with each other, based on our pod system.”
The show employs more than 300 production employees.
“Contact tracing was immediately conducted,” the spokesperson continued. “All close contacts were notified and put on an increased testing cadence. No close contact of the four positive production employees has since tested positive.”
The spokesperson went on to say that the “entire set has been disinfected and as an extra precaution, we asked the majority of employees to work from home.”
Deadline heard that more than a dozen people had tested positive after the premiere but the spokesperson said the number was incorrect. The show was cleared by the Department of Public Health to continue production, “based on our strict safety protocols,” the spokesperson added.
On Monday, 16 couples performed for the judges in front of a live studio audience. Jason Lewis (Sex and the City) and Peta Murgatroyd were sent packing after earning one of the lowest scores of the night — 18 out of a possible 40.
DWTS returns Monday night to Disney+. The couples will dance to the music of Elvis Presley.