WWE Pauses Production After "Developmental Talent" Tests Positive for Coronavirus

"A developmental talent, who was last on site at WWE's training facility on Tuesday, June 9, has tested positive for COVID-19," WWE Associate Medical Director Dr. Jeffrey Dugas said in a statement.
By Elyse Dupre Jun 16, 2020 3:54 PMTags
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WWE announced on Tuesday that an unnamed "developmental talent" has tested positive for coronavirus, leading the organization to take a brief pause in TV production.

"A developmental talent, who was last on site at WWE's training facility on Tuesday, June 9, has tested positive for COVID-19," WWE Associate Medical Director Dr. Jeffrey Dugas said in a statement obtained by E! News. "Since that time, no other individuals that attended the facility have reported symptoms. However, out of an abundance of caution and to ensure the health and safety of the company's performers and staff, all talent, production crew and employees on site at the training and production facilities will be tested for COVID-19 immediately. Following the test results, WWE plans to proceed with its normal television production schedule."

While many sports seasons have been suspended amid the global coronavirus pandemic, WWE has been airing live shows since April—when it fell under the umbrella of "essential services" in Florida.

"We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times," WWE said in a statement obtained by ESPN at the time. "We are producing content on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance following appropriate guidelines while taking additional precautions to ensure the health and wellness of our performers and staff. As a brand that has been woven into the fabric of society, WWE and its Superstars bring families together and deliver a sense of hope, determination and perseverance."

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According to Forbes, these tapings were initially audience-less. However, multiple outlets, including CBS Sports and USA Today, report developmental talents have since been used as audience members.

Related: Former WWE Star Shad Gaspard Found Dead on L.A. Beach

This isn't the first case of coronavirus WWE has reported. In April, the organization confirmed in a statement obtained by Deadline that an unnamed WWE employee had tested positive for coronavirus. WWE claimed "the employee had no contact with anyone from WWE since being exposed" to two people working in acute health care. It also said this individual is "doing well and made a complete recovery."