WWE halted its scheduled tapings Tuesday, sources confirmed to Crumpa, after announcing Monday that a developmental talent had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The individual who tested positive was at the WWE Performance Center on June 9 as a member of the audience during tapings of a WWE show. That individual has not been at the Performance Center since then, WWE said.
« Since that time, no other individuals that attended the facility have reported symptoms, » said Dr. Jeffrey Dugas, WWE’s Associate Medical Director. « 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. »
All of WWE’s pay-per-views and flagship shows – Raw, SmackDown and NXT – have been held at the Performance Center since mid-March. The company was operating without a crowd from March 13 until May 25 when it began to use trainees and NXT superstars as an audience. Barriers were installed with the intent of separating the talent and the audience, but there have been times over the past few weeks where the groups co-mingled.
According to a WWE statement on Tuesday, there were also non-WWE affiliated « fans » in the crowd.
« Yesterday, a select number of friends and family were permitted to attend WWE’s TV production, » WWE said in a statement. « These individuals were required to participate in medical screenings prior to entering the closed set at our training facility, and were kept apart from in-ring performers and production personnel. Attendance was below 20% capacity and social distancing guidelines were adhered to with at least six feet between parties, thus face masks were not required. »
This is WWE’s second publicly known confirmed case of coronavirus. According to a WWE statement, the first case was an individual becoming symptomatic « in the days following exposure to two people working in acute health care on the evening of March 26. » That individual did not have contact with any other WWE employee, according to that WWE statement.
The state of Florida considers WWE an essential business. which has allowed it to operate throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The UFC has also recently held events in the state.