WWE has been under fire for the last two weeks for their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the company has gradually taken stricter steps when it comes to their production at the Performance Center in Orlando. After several employees, including talent, tested positive for the virus last week, WWE instituted a regular testing policy moving forward. Prior, the company was reportedly relying solely on temperature checks when talent and employees arrived for tapings despite the ability for people to pass on the virus to others while not being symptomatic.
Recently, WWE started to have the "crowd" surrounding ringside (NXT talent) during TV tapings wear masks. Now, the company has gone one step further. Every employee on site at the Performance Center will be required to wear a mask outside of those performing on camera. Those who do not comply will face fines. This according to a report from PWInsider.
According to the report, WWE made the new policy known at today's television tapings. A first offense violation for not wearing a mask will come with a $500 fine. Workers will be fined $1,000 for a second offense.
While the names of all of the talents and company workers who tested positive for COVID-19 last week have not been known due to HIPAA privacy laws, ComicBook has been told that there were positive tests across multiple departments. Four specific names were made public through their own words: Renee Young, Adam Pearce, Kayla Braxton, and Jamie Noble.
Frustration with how the company had handled the pandemic boiled over when an anonymous talent sent a letter to Wrestling Inc. decrying the response they had seen thus far by their employer. Following that letter being made public, we began to see stricter rules coming out for television tapings moving forward.
It's good to see WWE taking these steps to ensure their safety of their workers. While many would argue that these steps should have been taken earlier, especially given the dire situation in Florida, it's good to see the company finally acknowledging that this is the right course of action and moving production forward in a safer way.