Is it starting again?
A Hollywood studio has instituted a mask mandate for its employees in the wake of the current Covid wave. Lionsgate sent an email to staff asking them to mask up on certain floors of its Santa Monica office after several employees caught the virus. The studio is also asking employees to conduct self screening before coming to the office.
While this is obviously just one office of one studio, the move comes amid some national buzz about whether mask mandates might be returning as variant EG.5 has become dominant in the United States.
The variety has caused an apparent boost in cases (the L.A. Public Health Twitter feed says cases are risking in the area, and the CDC’s website says hospital admissions are up 14 percent nationally this week). Yet experts have also said this Omicron-descendent variant — which has been spreading domestically since April — has thus far shown to be no more of a cause of concern than previous variants. According to reporting by The New York Times, the new variety isn’t expected to cause a major wave akin to the first Omicron outbreak.
Last May, the film industry relaxed its Covid protocols to no longer require masks in most workplace settings.
Deadline first reported the news.