Sharon Sobel, Certified Covid Compliance Officer
Covid-19 is less of a threat this summer than it was last summer. Many are vaccinated. Many have also had Covid.
In order to maintain a safe environment going forward, producers should consider some minimal policies….and publicize these….so that there are fewer surprises (and Covid cases) on sets this summer.
Large productions (more than 20 crew/talent) should hire a Covid Compliance officer. This person takes care of all of the Covid-related tasks, records and contact tracing on a production set. THIS SHOULD NOT BE THE PRODUCER! You can find certified compliance officers here. Daily rates range from $350-$500 per day and may or may not include materials. You should have one certified Covid Compliance Officer per 25 people. Covid Compliance Officers can be introduced in safety meetings, and it is important that the producer makes it clear that this Officer is to be respected.
Smaller sets can also address Covid safety. The EEOC has stated that requiring proof of vaccination is not a prohibited disability-related inquiry under the ADA and is permitted under federal law. More FAQs about vaccine requirements can be found here. You can choose to require your crew to wear masks while working. This is advisable if you decide to bring on a crew member who is unvaccinated. Hair and makeup artists should use disposable items and wear a mask/face shield while near talent. Lastly, you can ask crew members to either do a home test before arriving or provide test results from a test done within 48 hours of the call time. If there would be an expense related to the testing you require, be prepared to cover that cost. Most insurance companies cover Covid testing at area facilities.
Responsible producers will include Covid-19 safety protocols in their call sheets, or better yet, in any communications they have when they confirm bookings. Crew should feel comfortable asking producers if there are Covid-19 safety protocols they should be aware of.