With the rise of the predominant EG.5 variant, the studio is requesting certain employees to wear masks and conduct self-testing.
Is it starting again?
In response to the ongoing surge of COVID cases, a prominent Hollywood studio has introduced a mask requirement for its workforce. Lionsgate has communicated via email to its employees, urging them to wear masks on specific floors within their Santa Monica office due to a number of staff members contracting the virus. Additionally, the studio is requesting employees to perform self-assessments before arriving at the office.
While this pertains specifically to a single office within one studio, the decision aligns with growing discussions nationally about the potential resurgence of mask mandates, spurred by the prevalence of the EG.5 variant in the United States.
The emergence of this variant has led to an apparent increase in cases, as indicated by the L.A. Public Health Twitter feed reporting rising cases in the area, and the CDC’s website noting a 14 percent national increase in hospital admissions this week. However, experts have also stated that this Omicron-descendant variant, which has been spreading within the country since April, has not demonstrated any greater cause for concern than previous variants. According to The New York Times’ reporting, it is not anticipated that this new variant will trigger a major wave of infections similar to the initial Omicron outbreak.
In May of the previous year, the film industry had relaxed its COVID protocols, no longer mandating masks in most workplace settings. Deadline was the first to report this development.