Al Roker Off 'Today' After Staffer Diagnosed With Coronavirus

March 16, 2020
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Al Roker and Craig Melvin are taking time off from “Today” after it was revealed that a colleague on the broadcast’s third hour has coronavirus.

The news was announced on Monday morning by “Today” anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, who practiced social distancing on air by sitting apart from each other, reports Page Six.

Guthrie and Kotb shared that their fellow anchors would be off the air for just a day, as a precautionary measure.

“Last night we learned that a colleague of ours on the third hour of Today has tested positive for COVID-19,” Guthrie said. "So out of an abundance of caution, Craig and Al have taken the morning off, so we can trace their contacts, see what is going on with them, we promise to keep you posted, both are fine right now. They feel good, but caution is the order of the day.”

At the 8 a.m. hour of the show, Guthrie told viewers that the colleague in question is male, and shared well wishes from the rest of the show’s staff.

Page Six reports that in a memo obtained by The Post, NBC News President Noah Oppenheim shared the news with the company’s staff.

“We have learned that a TODAY employee based at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and working for the 9am hour has tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19),” Oppenheim’s statement read. “We are fully supporting our colleague, who is experiencing mild symptoms and receiving medical care, and I know you join me in sending our very best for a quick recovery.”

Oppenheim directed the 9 a.m. editorial team to work from home on Monday, and that staffers’ health and safety “are our top priority.”

The update comes one day after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all New York City public schools will be closed until at least mid-April amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The measure will send home all 1.1 million students in the city’s public school system — the largest in the country — in an attempt to curb the spread of the illness.

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