It Takes a Lot of Covid-19 Tests to Keep Pinewood Atlanta Open

Labor News, Industry News

Reprinted from The Wall Street Journal by Sarah Krouse on July 26, 2020.

As film and TV sets reopen at Pinewood Atlanta Studios, home to big-screen juggernauts like Avengers: Endgame, the biggest job is keeping the coronavirus off the Georgia studio’s lot.

The several hundred producers, set designers, painters and carpenters working to get productions ready undergo tests for Covid-19 weekly, and sometimes more often. An app tracks workers’ symptoms between tests, and a badge system prevents anyone without a negative test result from opening doors on the lot.

The regime of testing will cost more than $1.5 million a month once cameras are rolling and several thousand workers are on set, said the studio’s chief executive, Frank Patterson, noting that is what is needed to stay in business.

Pinewood Atlanta is trying to solve a riddle facing a host of businesses, schools and universities headed into this fall: How much Covid-19 testing is needed to ensure people can stay safe and keep organizations functioning amid a pandemic. …

WSJ 7/26

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at