A WWE developmental talent has tested positive for the coronavirus.
“A developmental talent, who was last on site at WWE’s training facility on Tuesday, June 9, has tested positive for COVID-19. Since that time, no other individuals that attended the facility have reported symptoms. However, out of an abundance of caution and to ensure the health and safety of the company’s performers and staff, all talent, production crew and employees on site at the training and production facilities will be tested for COVID-19 immediately. Following the test results, WWE plans to proceed with its normal television production schedule,” said Dr. Jeffrey Dugas, the WWE’s associate medical director, in a statement.
It is not known at this time whether the talent was a part of the television tapings or not. The WWE has been using NXT and developmental talent as stand-ins for live crowds recently.
The WWE, who has been criticized for not implementing actual Coronavirus tests of its talent and only conducting temperature tests, will now commence testing everyone who was at those television tapings.
A few months ago, a WWE employee named “John” implored the Orange County Board of County Commissioners to halt the WWE tapings saying: “My employer World Wrestling Entertainment aka WWE is forcing me to work the TV tapings for the weekly shows despite stay-at-home orders for coronavirus. I am unable to speak out, as I need this job and I know I will be fired if I approach my higher-ups. Despite sanitary precautions we cannot maintain social distancing and we need to touch other people. I request the government to shutdown these tapings and enforce the stay-at-home orders for the coronavirus so my colleagues and I can follow social distancing rules without fear or repercussion of losing our jobs.”
The WWE responded by stating: “These accusations aren’t true. Employees know they can confidentially go to Human Resources, not the public. Notwithstanding the appropriate protocol, no one would be fired if they were uncomfortable with their surroundings. We’ve made accommodations for individuals upon request.”
In April, another WWE employee who was not an on-screen performer tested positive for coronavirus, was placed under quarantine and has since recovered.
On Monday, New Japan Pro-Wrestling held its first event after a 110 day hiatus due to the world-wide pandemic. At the end of May, Japan lifted its state of emergency allowing businesses to reopen, some with strict regulations.