Studio Takes Action to Prevent The Spread of Covid-19 Among Employees
By Dolores Quintana
In response to a recent surge in Covid cases in Los Angeles, Lionsgate has reinstated its mask mandate for nearly half of its workforce at the company’s flagship office, as reported by Deadline. The office is located at 2700 Colorado Ave. in Santa Monica. According to an internal email announcement from Sommer McElroy, Response Manager for Lionsgate/Starz, masking requirements are being reinstated. The mandate is effective immediately and will remain in place until further notice.
The policy change comes in light of several employees testing positive for Covid, prompting the company to enforce Covid protocols that were abandoned last year. Under the new mandate, employees on the 3rd and 5th floors of the five-story building are now required to wear medical-grade face coverings, such as surgical masks, KN95, or N95 masks, when indoors. Exceptions to this rule include moments when employees are alone in a closed office, actively eating, drinking at their desk, or if they are the sole occupant of a spacious open workspace.
In a return to protocols used earlier in the pandemic, all Lionsgate employees must conduct a daily self-screening before entering the office. Those who exhibit any symptoms or have recently traveled internationally within the past 10 days are mandated to stay home and notify McElroy. This precautionary measure may impact some individuals during the height of the summer vacation season.
Additionally, Lionsgate is actively engaged in contact tracing and offers at-home Covid test kits upon request to further mitigate the spread of the virus.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has reported recent “small increases in COVID-19 indicators over the past four weeks, indicating increased transmission.” However, the statement also underscores that “overall metrics remain at a low level of concern.” Nevertheless, there has been a noticeable uptick in local cases, with reports of infections, including those who attended Taylor Swift’s sold-out concerts at So-Fi Stadium and individuals returning from overseas trips.
This move by Lionsgate may set an example for other entertainment companies, given Hollywood studios’ initial implementation of strict Covid mandates when bringing employees back to their offices in 2021. Lionsgate began its phased return in October 2021 and expanded in-person requirements to four days a week in January of this year.