A month after U.S. series began to resume production in Vancouver with COVID-19 protocols amid the pandemic, most of them have suspended filming. Like was the case when restart of production was delayed in August, the issue has to do with testing.
I hear a slew of series from multiple studios, including Riverdale, A Million Little Things, Charmed, Batwoman, The Mighty Ducks, Nancy Drew and Maid, have been idle for several days now or are in the process of shutting down because of delays of as much as 72+ hours in receiving COVID-19 test results for their casts and crew. Shows that had been scheduled to start this week, including The Flash, Supergirl and DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow, have been pushed. I hear a local lab did not meet deadlines, leaving productions in the dark. There is no indication that there are any positive cases but, without definitive PCR test results and no rapid testing available, studios have had no choice but to halt production. I hear the suspension of filming is done day by day and still ongoing. Additionally, I’m getting accounts of possible test shortages, which would compound the problem. “It’s a mess,” multiple industry insiders said of the situation.
There has been a recent spike of COVID cases in British Columbia. That likely contributed to the delays as labs prioritize tests for local citizens over businesses who need testing for commercial purposes. Word is that more testing capacity is being added to help resolve the bottleneck and prevent another one in the future.