Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune will be moving forward without live audiences indefinitely due to concerns over coronavirus COVID-19, according to a report from TMZ. There are reportedly three primary concerns that went into the decision to stop live audiences from attending the show’s tapings.
Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek is battling Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and has a compromised immune system. He would be at a heightened risk of contracting the virus due to his immune system and large audiences.
Another cause for concern is that the audiences are made up of a majority of people over the age of 60, and the elderly are also at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19.
In the United States, coronavirus cases have topped 700 across 34 states with 27 deaths — most of the deaths in the state of Washington.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in China, it has now reached many countries around the world including the United States. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.