On Monday, Sony Pictures Entertainment hosted a raucous premiere for “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” a superhero adventure widely expected to generate a new COVID-era record opening weekend. The red carpet outside Westwood’s Regency Village theater — where industry elites and A-listers gathered after showing proof of full vaccination and a negative PCR test to watch Peter Parker save the world — was filled with fans, journalists and social media influencers all vying to get a look at stars Tom Holland and Zendaya. Many people in the crowd were screaming and unmasked.
Days later, word began circulating that a top agent at one of the major talent agencies had tested positive for COVID-19 after attending both the premiere and Holland’s more selective after party for about 75 people off Sunset. It fell to Holland’s team to notify people about the outbreak. The potential exposure to the highly contagious virus and its latest variant, Omicron, shows how rapidly the public health situation in the U.S. has devolved in recent days. It’s a dramatic turn of events that has imperiled the entertainment industry’s tenuous recovery efforts.
Although it’s not yet known what percentage of the surge the Omicron variant represents, health officials are hoping the variant causes less severe disease than the Delta variant. But the spike in cases is alarming and sobering. Hospitalizations due to COVID have increased 20% in the past two weeks, according to the New York Times.
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