The Walking Dead's Khary Payton Tests Positive for COVID-19, Cancels Comic-Con Appearance

The Walking Dead star Khary Payton, who plays King Ezekiel on the AMC zombie drama, has canceled an appearance at the show's final San Diego Comic-Con panel after testing positive for COVID-19. Payton was scheduled to join his Season 11 co-stars on stage at Hall H on Friday to answer fan questions and reveal the first trailer for The Walking Dead: The Last Episodes, the eight-part series conclusion airing in October. On Thursday, Payton announced in a post on his social media that he tested positive for the virus and is currently quarantined with "mild" symptoms. 

"Welp. Looks like I'll be here in quarantine for #SDCC," Payton tweeted. "Just tested positive for COVID. Symptoms are mild. I'm pretty well protected, vaxxed and boosted, so just gonna sleep this off. Stay safe out there, everyone." 

AMC's Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick is moderating the panel featuring The Walking Dead Universe chief content officer Scott Gimple, showrunner and executive producer Angela Kang, and director and special effects makeup supervisor Greg Nicotero. Cast members previously announced by AMC include Norman Reedus (Daryl), Melissa McBride (Carol), Christian Serratos (Rosita), Ross Marquand (Aaron), Seth Gilliam (Father Gabriel), Josh McDermitt (Eugene), Michael James Shaw (General Mercer), Cailey Fleming (Judith Grimes), and Lauren Ridloff (Connie). 

Maggie actor Lauren Cohan and Negan actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan will also miss Friday's panel as production gets underway on Isle of the Dead, the Maggie and Negan spinoff series set to film in New York and New Jersey

In 2020, the pandemic delayed both the Season 10 finale (titled "A Certain Doom") and the start of production on Season 11, which began filming in February 2021 and wrapped after a 13-month shoot in March 2022. The last eight episodes of The Walking Dead will begin airing in October on AMC and AMC+.

The Walking Dead's Comic-Con panel will take place on Friday, July 22 at 1:30 PM PT in Hall H. Stay tuned to ComicBook for live San Diego Comic-Con 2022 updates as they happen

Follow @CameronBonomolo and @NewsOfTheDead on Twitter for TWD Universe coverage all season long.