'Saturday Night Live' postponing next 3 shows amid coronavirus concerns

Saturday Night Live (or SNL) has just joined the extensive and ever-expanding roster of productions in the entertainment industry which has been affected by the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19.

In the midst of the global pandemic, the weekly late-night sketch show announced on Monday that it would “no longer resume production until further notice,” according to an NBC spokesperson.

Initially, SNL was scheduled for a March 28 comeback — with actor John Krasinski and pop singer Dua Lipa serving as the special guest acts — however, as a result of the health crisis, it seems fans won’t see the duo for quite some time.

In its statement, the media giant described its decision to postpone the much-beloved show as “a precautionary measure” to ensure the “safety of employees” — which NBC wrote was their “top priority.”

SNL’s 45th season began last September and as of this writing — after 15 episodes — has only six left before the company takes a break to prepare for its 46th season.

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Whether all six of the show’s upcoming episodes will actually take place is currently unclear. However, NBC notified fans that they will continue to monitor the severity of COVID-19 and base the future of SNL on that.

They wrote: “We will monitor the situation closely and make decisions about future shows on an ongoing basis as further information develops.”

While Lipa, 24, was set to make her second overall appearance as SNL‘s musical guest, Krasinski, 40, was scheduled to make his highly anticipated debut as the show’s evening host.

From the cancellation of the 2020 Juno Awards and the suspension of the 2019-20 NHL season last week to the ongoing postponements of concert tours continent-wide in the last two weeks, it’s clear that COVID-19 has quite literally plagued the entertainment industry as a whole.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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