6:18pm PT by Michael O'Connell
Savannah Guthrie to Film 'Today' From Home Amid Coronavirus Concerns
Savannah Guthrie is socially distancing herself from Today, agreeing to anchor the Wednesday telecast of NBC's venerable morning show from her basement after coming down with what she described, on Twitter and Instagram, as a mild sore throat and runny nose.
On Monday, it was confirmed that a Today staffer tested positive for the coronavirus.
NBC News president Noah Oppenheim alerted staff of the decision in a Tuesday memo. The note described Guthrie's move to work from home would "model the hyper-vigilance we’re asking for right now and do just that."
Hosts Craig Melvin and Al Roker had already sat out Monday and Tuesday's telecasts, the latter offering a weather update from his kitchen. Both Today instances are examples of heightened caution and sensitivity as much of the U.S. and the world hunker down while the coronavirus continues to spread. A source confirms to The Hollywood Reporter that Guthrie's fellow anchor Hoda Kotb will be filming live from NBC's Studio 1A at 30 Rock in New York come Wednesday morning.
"Well, this will be a first," wrote Guthrie. "I’m going to be anchoring Today from my house! In an abundance of caution, and to model the super vigilance the CDC has asked of all of us, I’m staying home because I have a mild sore throat and runny nose. This was the advice of NBC’s superb medical team and my bosses. I feel good and am sure I will be back in no time — but during these days, it’s on all of us to be extra cautious and caring of those around us. #loveyourneighbor So see you tomorrow on Today - from my basement!"
(Another source, my mother, confirmed that Guthrie had what appeared to be "the sniffles" during Tuesday's episode.)
When she appeared on Wednesday morning, she told Kotb and Roker (also still working from home), "The show's been around a long time — 60-something years — but never has this happened before. I will say Hoda, this was the shortest commute." About her sore throat and sniffles, Guthrie — anchoring the show from her basement — said she was following the new guidelines: "If you're sick at all, the CDC is saying, 'This is the time to stay home.' You know me, I like to come rain or shine, and spread my germs around. But we don't do anymore. We stay at home and we keep everybody safe."
"This show's been around a long time. ... but never has this happened before." @savannahguthrie and @alroker discuss what it's been like working from home while @hodakotb holds down the fort in Studio 1A pic.twitter.com/uhCdmAVp4Z— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 18, 2020
Read Oppenheim's full note to staff below.
As promised, I’m writing in real-time to share information as we have it. We’ve decided to ask Savannah to do the show from home tomorrow. She has a “super mild” sore throat and NBC’s doctors are advising that anyone who doesn’t feel 1000% should work from home. (This applies to EVERYONE!) So, she’s going to model the hyper-vigilance we’re asking for right now and do just that. Many of us have worked closely with Savannah these past few weeks – especially at Today – and I want to assure you that, per NBC’s doctors and all the relevant public health authorities, Savannah’s current status does not mean any of you are at any greater risk, you can absolutely still come to work and don’t need to take any additional precautions – beyond those we’re all already taking – because of this. I know you’ll all join me in hoping she’s back soon.
March 18, 6:18 a.m. Updated to include Guthrie's Wednesday at-home debut.