Producers Agree to Notify Unions of Positive COVID-19 Results on Sets

Producers have agreed to notify the entertainment industry’s unions when a member of casts and crews test positive for COVID-19 in a revision of the industry’s two-month-old safety protocols.

The agreement, which took effect on Nov. 30, is contained in a Nov. 19 side letter issued by Carol Lombardini, president of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, to the leaders of Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA, the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees, the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Basic Crafts unions.

The key passage reads: “To assist the Unions in fulfilling their role as the collective bargaining representatives of employees covered by this Agreement, and so that they may respond to member inquiries about positive test results on a production on which the member is employed, the Producer shall notify the Unions as soon as practicable of the following information, to the extent known at the time, in the event of a positive test result on a production: the number of individuals with a positive test result, the Zone(s) in which the positive test result(s) occurred and the date the test result(s) was or were reported. In addition, Producer may include in the notice other information with regard to the positive test result(s).”

Under the new agreement, the unions will also provide producers with contact information for the individuals designated to receive notices of positive test results on behalf of each union.

The AMPTP and the unions announced on Sept. 21 that they had reached an agreement on protocols to allow the industry to safely restart production amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The agreement was announced three and a half months after the unions issued their “Safe Way Forward” guidelines. Prior to that point, the safety protocols were hammered out on a production-by-production basis.

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