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SNL removes live audience, loses musical guest for Saturday as omicron spreads

'Saturday Night Live' pokes fun at Democrats in its season opener
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“Saturday Night Live” (SNL) announced that it is removing its live audience and limiting cast and crew for Saturday’s episode amid the spread of the omicron variant.

Due to the recent spike in the Omicron variant and out of an abundance of caution, there will be no live audience for tonight’s taping of ‘Saturday Night Live’ and the show will have limited cast and crew,” SNL said in a tweet. 

COVID-19 case numbers have risen as the omicron variant has been detected in dozens of states. On Friday, New York state, where SNL tapes, reported its highest daily case total of the pandemic: 21,027 new infections.

Singer Charlie XCX, who was slated to serve as the musical guest for the episode, said in a Twitter post Saturday she will no longer perform on SNL due to the limited number of crew allowed on set. 

“i am devastated and heartbroken,” she said. “i am currently safe and healthy but of course very sad.”

Chief White House medical advisor Anthony Fauci has said the omicron variant could become the dominant strain in the U.S. in upcoming weeks.

Amid the spike in cases, some universities have canceled graduation ceremonies due to the variant, while a Maryland school district announced it was moving to remote learning and Harvard said it will do the same in January. 

Meanwhile, health officials are stockpiling a monoclonal antibody treatment shown to work against omicron as a precaution for the potential wave of cases the variant may cause.  

President Biden has encouraged Americans to get a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to combat omicron. He has said he won’t be shutting down the economy due to the variant.

— Updated at 7:07 p.m.

Tags Anthony Fauci COVID-19 variants Joe Biden omicron Omicron variant Saturday Night Live

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