Report: Multiple WWE Employees, Including Talent, Test Positive for COVID-19

Lou DiPietro
June 24, 2020 - 4:35 pm

COVID-19 dealt another strong blow to the thought of sports resuming on Wednesday, this one courtesy of the sports-entertainment world.

According to Pro Wrestling Sheet’s Ryan Satin, who was also a contributor to WWE programming including the recently-shelved “WWE Backstage” program on FS1, “multiple people” at WWE’s Performance Center in Florida tested positive for COVID-19 this week, including in-ring talent.

Satin had no details on the breakdown of testing protocols or who the affected were, only saying that at least three of them received positive test results this week.

WWE has been one of the few sports or entertainment entities continuing to program amidst the pandemic, moving the location of all of their in-ring television shows, including WrestleMania 36 and subsequent pay-per-view/network special events, to closed sets at their massive Performance Center campus in suburban Orlando.

That ability came thanks in part to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ decree in April that WWE was an “essential business” in the state, allowing them to continue to run while the Sunshine State was under lockdown due to COVID-19 protocols.

Since then, WWE has taken measures to adhere to social distancing and capacity protocols, and continued to update those measures as conditions warrant; among other things, they have pre-taped certain segments of shows to keep talent needed inside the facility to a minimum, put up Plexiglas barriers around the ring to separate the talent from employees serving as “fans” for live shows, and, of course, monitored any employees for possible COVID-19 symptoms.

That said, WWE already had to shut down production for one day last week after an unnamed developmental talent tested positive for COVID-19, and only allowed those who were tested and came back negative to resume their roles in the production of WWE programming.

Add in this latest report, as well as the AP report that coronavirus cases in Florida have tripled since the beginning of the month and the news that the Tri-State area – including Connecticut, home to the McMahon family proper as well as WWE’s main headquarters in Stamford – will be urging a 14-day quarantine for visitors traveling from COVID-19 hotspots like Florida, and this could end up signaling a lot of changes to the WWE product in the near future, if not the beginning of a work stoppage on some level for WWE programming.

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