The Young and the Restless star Richard Burgi fired after COVID-19 protocol breach: ‘I felt terrible about it’

Actor Richard Burgi has been fired from the soap opera The Young and the Restless for breaching the production’s COVID-19 protocols, Variety has confirmed.

The actor revealed the news himself on January 11 in an Instagram Live post in which he said that he “naively and inadvertently violated the show’s COVID policy.”

Sources close to The Young and the Restless confirmed the actor is no longer with the show.

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“I felt terrible about it,” Burgi said in his video message. “I still do. It bothers me mightily but it is what it is. I respect whatever the show’s decision is. They’re doing the best they can, as we all are.”

Burgi explained that he tested positive for COVID-19 around Christmas and waited to return to set after five days, a time frame the US Center for Disease Control set at the end of December. The actor then “tested twice negatively at the studio and showed up to work,” he said, “but was not within the show’s guidelines, which is a 10-day protocol. So I inadvertently violated the show’s COVID rules and protocols.”

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The CDC announced on December 27, 2021, that it was “shortening the recommended time for isolation” for those people who test positive for COVID-19.

The organisation’s website reads: “People with COVID-19 should isolate for five days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by five days of wearing a mask when around others to minimise the risk of infecting people they encounter. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.”

Burgi joined The Young and the Restless last March in the recurring role of Ashland Locke. The soap world has seen several headlines in recent months related to actors being let go from their series due to COVID protocols.

General Hospital stars Ingo Rademacher and Steve Burton were fired for breaching the production’s COVID vaccine mandate. Rademacher then filed a lawsuit against ABC, claiming his request for a religious exemption to the COVID vaccine was denied.

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