General Hospital delays return to production due to surge in Omicron COVID cases

Posted Thursday, January 06, 2022 3:23:21 AM
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The calendar might read 2022, but COVID-19 continues to make news. And the virus continues to impact television production, including at least one soap opera.

General Hospital has delayed resumption of production until next week. The lone ABC soap has been on a holiday break and had been scheduled to pick back up this week.

At least three other ABC programs -- including Grey's Anatomy, Station 19, and The Rookie -- have also pushed back their returns. Grey's films at the same studio complex as GH.

According to sources and published reports, the change to the production schedule was made out of an abundance of caution and not because of a specific outbreak at any of the impacted shows.

GH actress Kirsten Storms (Maxie Jones) informed fans via social media that she had tested positive for COVID.

General Hospital is believed to be the only soap opera with a vaccine mandate. That mandate resulted in two of the show's stars, Steve Burton (Jason Morgan) and Ingo Rademacher (Jasper "Jax" Jacks), being released from the show in November. Rademacher has filed a lawsuit against ABC and its parent company, Disney, over the mandate. Rademacher claims that the mandate is a form of religious discrimination under the California Constitution.

There is not expected to be any impact to General Hospital's broadcast schedule. The show currently tapes episodes about a month before their air.

There have been no reported production delays at The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of our Lives, or The Young and the Restless.

A GH spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for a statement.

Are you concerned that the surge in COVID cases might result in another long production break for soaps? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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