Joy Behar Taking Time Off From 'The View' Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Courtesy of ABC
Joy Behar

The longtime co-host said she is staying home until further notice because she is "in a higher risk group because of my age, but I’m perfectly healthy."

As coronavirus fears continue to mount, The View's Joy Behar is taking precaution. The longtime co-host of ABC's morning program revealed during a pre-taped episode that she is taking time off due to her age.

Behar, 77, appeared on Friday to tell her co-hosts about her decision. "I’ve been thinking of staying home from the show. We don’t have an audience anymore. Believe me, the staff here, the exec producers, everybody, has really been doing their due diligence to clean the place up," she said. "But I’ve been thinking, maybe at my age — I know I look good, I look fantastic — I don’t look my age, I don’t. And so you really can’t tell how old I am by looking at me, but I am up there. The number, it makes me dizzy!"

She continued, "But anyway, I’m thinking maybe I should stay home and do what they call socially distance myself. This morning I get a text from my daughter and she says, 'Are you staying home?' And I said, 'Why?' And she said, 'Get in reality, Mom.' So I decided that I think I’m gonna stay home for a while. I’m going to socially distance myself a little bit. So next week you won’t see me here. I don’t know how it’s going to go, but that’s what I’m thinking. I have to point out, I’m in a higher-risk group because of my age, but I’m perfectly healthy. I’m doing this myself. Luckily I don’t have to worry about childcare and things like that and also, I have enough money to take off some time."

Neither Behar nor any other co-host of The View have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), which is now considered an international pandemic. In New York, where The View is taped, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency, with more than 95 confirmed cases in the city.

A first in The View's history, the show is operating without a studio audience. Moderator Whoopi Goldberg addressed the show having an empty studio at the top of Wednesday's broadcast, as cameras revealed a slew of empty chairs, saying that the show taping without fans was "unprecedented." (The moment has since become a popular meme on social media.)

Until further notice, starting March 16, Behar will not be on The View. However, co-hosts Goldberg, Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain will continue to appear.

Though The View is still in production, several New York-based talk shows — both daytime and late-night — have suspended production due to the coronavirus, including The Wendy Williams Show, The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers, among others. Several others, like The View, are taping without a live studio audience.

Watch Behar explain her decision to take time off from The View in the video below.