Netflix is the latest company to suspend production in light of the global coronavirus pandemic. Along with other scripted Netflix TV and film projects in the U.S. and Canada, Stranger Things will shut down production for two weeks due to the coronavirus. The production hiatus will take effect on March 16. The news comes after various entertainment events, such as music festivals, film festivals, and movie premieres, were canceled or postponed in efforts to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure among large gatherings of people.
Netflix joins a roster of other major media companies that have halted production because of the pandemic: ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and The Bachelorette, CBS’ NCIS and Young Sheldon, and Apple TV’s The Morning Show are some of the major projects that have implemented a hiatus for its cast and crew. The CW’s hit teen drama Riverdale shut down production on March 11 after a production member came in contact with an individual who tested positive for the coronavirus.
On the late night TV end, Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night With Seth Meyers, and Jimmy Kimmel Live have suspended production after initially testing out filming without a live studio audience.
Stranger Things’ hiatus comes a few days after the cast and crew convened for their first Season 4 table read on March 3. Per Deadline, the hit horror drama was slated to shoot in New Mexico after three seasons in Atlanta. Momita SenGupta, Netflix’s VP of Physical Production, told Deadline of the location change on March 9, “Season 4 is bigger, bolder and more intricate than ever. So, this is the first time the show will be traveling beyond Atlanta.”
As of March 13, there are over 1,600 coronavirus cases in the U.S. and more than 124,000 cases across the globe, per the CDC. And according to WHO, about 5,000 people across 123 countries and territories have died. On Friday, Donald Trump declared a national emergency to unleash $50 billion in federal resources to combat the pandemic.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here.