She explained how they're using as little as possible to still film safely.

Arielle Tschinkel
Nov 17, 2020 @ 11:11 am
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Credit: ABC

While fans of the fictional team at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital were undoubtedly thrilled to welcome back Grey’s Anatomy after filming for the show’s 17th season had been put on pause due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it seems some fans were concerned about both the safety of filming and the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) among the actors, who are not actually healthcare workers. Star Camilla Luddington was quick to shut down speculation about perceived overuse of KN95 respiratory masks, taking to Twitter to address the situation directly.

On Monday, November 16th, a Twitter user replied to one of Luddington’s tweets, writing, “You don’t need to be wearing a N95/KN95 mask behind the scenes. You don’t need to be wasting PPE. A disposable mask will work just fine.”

Luddington, who plays surgeon Dr. Jo Wilson on the hit ABC series, responded to the fan, writing, “If you see any of us wearing KN95s behind the scenes it’s because we are wearing our costume masks. We don’t also get an extra KN95 to wear between takes.”

Of course, the fan’s concern is perfectly valid, given that COVID-19 cases are surging nationwide and there is a very real risk of the same PPE shortage that plagued healthcare professionals at the onset of the pandemic last Spring.

In October, Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff detailed the measures her team was taking to ensure that all staffers on set were protected, telling Variety, “It’s social distancing, it’s masks, it’s visors—it’s masks on the actors between takes and during rehearsals.” She shared that actors were not allowed to talk with bare faces (during hair and makeup), carrying their own makeup for touch-ups, and that those on set at any time would be tested for COVID-19 three times per week.

They’re also using special lenses to make actors appear closer together on screen as they practice social distancing, and having shorter filming days overall.

Back in March, Vernoff also shared that Grey’s and other shows donated medical supplies, including N95 masks, gowns, and gloves they weren’t using due to filming being shut down to local hospitals and fire stations. So it certainly seems like the Grey’s team is doing their part to protect themselves and others from the ripple effects of the pandemic as best they can.