ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A second person who works on the St. John’s-shot TV series “Hudson & Rex” has tested positive for COVID-19, but the show’s producer says the two cases linked to the canine-cop program do not pose a risk to the community.
“The system worked in terms of identifying somebody with a case,” producer Paul Pope said in an interview Monday. “What I would say to Newfoundland, my province where I live: we have not introduced anything into the community. It’s been contained within our production.”
Newfoundland and Labrador’s Health and Community Services Department confirmed Monday the second case involves a cast member of the television series. Authorities said the man’s contacts are being advised to quarantine.
Pope said the cast member was exposed to a woman involved with the show’s production who tested positive for the virus last week after arriving in St. John’s from Toronto. Both people are between the ages of 20 and 39 and are self-isolating. Pope could not say more about the cast member’s role, citing privacy reasons.
Shooting for the series was shut down Sunday but resumed Monday. Pope said he didn’t think the cast member’s illness will disrupt the show’s production schedule. But, he added, the length of that person’s absence will be determined by the regional health authority.
“It’s all in eastern health’s hands now in terms of when that person can come back to work,” he said.
Pope said the woman who arrived from Toronto by plane last Thursday had contact with the cast member and one other person involved with the show. The other individual tested negative for the virus.
The infected woman is not a local resident and was given an exemption to enter the province, which has a strict travel ban aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. There are now two active cases of COVID-19 in the province, where three people have died from the virus and 263 people have recovered.
Last month, “Hudson & Rex” became one of the first narrative TV series to resume production in Canada since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Citytv series follows detective Charlie Hudson, played by John Reardon, and his German shepherd partner, Diesel vom Burgimwald.
Pope said there are approximately 200 people working on the show. Out of that group, there are between 10 and 15 people who live outside Newfoundland and stay in St. John’s for the shooting period.
Pope said there are between four and six people who fly in to Newfoundland to help shoot each episode. The show uses a private limousine service to transport them to a hotel where they are tested. They are allowed to mingle with others working on the series after the negative result, and Pope said a second test is done after 48 hours.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 10, 2020.
Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press