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Warner Bros. Studios Sees Significant COVID Outbreak. It's Among Several Companies Reporting Dozens Of Cases

A wide view of several large beige warehouse-style buildings, one with the Warner Bros. logo. In front of the buildings are large trucks and movie equipment, mostly draped with black cloths.
The Warner Bros. lot.
(Valeria Macon
/
AFP via Getty Images)
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Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank is in the midst of a big COVID outbreak, according to numbers released by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health yesterday.

So far, 43 cases have been reported there.

The Warner Bros. numbers — among several sites reporting cases in the dozens — come as L.A. County is now expected to move into the "high" category in the CDC's COVID community level tracker on Thursday.

The number of COVID-positive patients in local hospitals has jumped well past the 1,100 mark.

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Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the county is seeing an increase in COVID-related deaths for the first time since the winter surge.

"While we're not seeing anywhere near the devastation this summer that we saw during last winter's omicron surge, we are seeing much higher case numbers than we saw during the peak of the delta surge," she said in a news conference Tuesday. "It's unlikely that we are at the peak of our recent surge."

The Cases At Warner Bros.

According to IMDb, the Warner Bros. studio lot is the filming location for programs such as Westworld, Young Sheldon, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and more.

The location is also home to Warner Bros. studio tours.

In April, Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav began pushing for some staff to come back to the office, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“I really believe in being together," he reportedly said at a town hall at the time. "You don’t build a narrative on Zoom. You don’t get a mentor on Zoom. You got to come to work. That’s where a lot of the joy is and that’s where a lot of the creativity comes from.”

On the Warner Bros. studio tour website, COVID policies are laid out, as are the risks the studio places on visitors:

Your health and safety is our priority. We follow all mandated city, state and federal CDC guidelines. You acknowledge that exposure to COVID-19 is an inherent risk in any public location where people are present and, by visiting Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.
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We have reached out to Warner Bros. for comment and will update this post as needed.

Outbreaks Elsewhere

The company is among a number of locations reporting COVID cases in the dozens. From the most recent L.A. County reporting:

  • TSA at LAX: 137
  • American Airlines at LAX: 94
  • Smithfield Foods in Vernon: 48
  • Warner Bros. Studios: 43
  • Newegg in City of Industry: 34
  • Raytheon Technologies in El Segundo: 34
  • Southwest Airlines in Burbank: 34

If the county remains in the "high" level and stays there for two weeks in a row, people will once again be required to wear face coverings indoors.
Ferrer says universal masking may feel like a step backwards to many more than two years into this pandemic, but it will help reduce the spread.

What questions do you have about Southern California?

Updated July 12, 2022 at 5:18 PM PDT
This story was updated with additional information about other significant reported outbreaks in L.A. County.