Per Deadline Hollywood, the policy applies to all cast members as well as crew members who are working in “Zone A” (meaning that they are in close proximity to the actors). Those affected by the new rule were informed by an email from Wolf Productions recently.
The new policy doesn’t come as a massive shock, given that Chicago Med had to halt production on season 6 when a “Zone A” crew member tested positive for COVID-19 in September. Its sister series Chicago Fire also shut down after a positive test last season.
Wednesday’s new policy, though, so far only applies to Chicago Med and not Fire or Chicago PD. There’s been no word on whether the other two One Chicago series will adopt the same requirement. Though they’re all from the same franchise and produced by the same company, Med is the most likely to need such a rule given that actors playing doctors, nurses and patients have to be particularly close to each other on a regular basis.
Requiring the cast and key crew members to be vaccinated serves as not only a safety measure for everyone involved, but would also help the production to avoid such breaks in filming in the future, and the logistical and financial issues that come with such stoppages.
However, it’s a noteworthy update because very few network TV series are issuing such mandates yet. As Deadline points out, the biggest company to require vaccination is Netflix; the streamer made headlines recently by insisting that all “Zone A” cast/crew be vaccinated on any Netflix production in the United States.
The COVID-19 mandate is just one of the major changes Chicago Med has made during the offseason; the show also promoted Steven Weber from recurring cast member to series regular and hired two additional regulars to fill the spaces left by Yaya DaCosta and Torrey DeVitto. Most of the returning cast members, including Brian Tee, Nick Gehlfuss, S. Epatha Merkerson, Marlyne Barrett and Oliver Platt, also signed multi-year extensions to keep them on the series for season 7 and beyond.
Chicago Med airs Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. Chicago Med season 7 premieres on September 22.
Article content is (c)2020-2021 Brittany Frederick and may not be excerpted or reproduced without express written permission by the author. Follow me on Twitter at @BFTVTwtr, on Instagram at @BFTVGram.