Skai Jackson breaks down how DWTS is keeping everyone safe from COVID-19
Dancing With the Stars will be twirling back into living rooms on Monday, and celebrity contestant Skai Jackson says production is working hard to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved.
Jackson, who at 18 is the youngest of all the contestants in season 29, explained the process each contestant must go through in order to participate in the popular ABC dancing competition and how she feels about all the extra steps they have to take to work so closely with others during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Every day we have to be tested," Jackson told members of the media on Thursday. "The first time I got tested, I was in my home just before we started just to get into the flow of things and make sure that nobody [who will be working together] in the building had it. When we go in [to rehearsals], we can't ever go in with someone together. So we each have to go in individually. As soon as we go upstairs, we have to go into our little phones and just take this little quiz to make sure we feel well. We do this every day when we're checking in. From there, we move on to taking the test. We were doing the spit test before but now we've changed to the nasal test. Before we can enter our rooms, they have to be sterilized and cleaned for like an hour. We're in there from about 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and then they clean the rooms again for an hour before someone can go in there."
Although going through this process daily could become tedious, Jackson is happy with all the precautions in place.
"I'm very pleased with how they're doing everything," she explains. "They're very cautious with everything, which is great. We're not allowed to go into anyone's room. If we want to see someone dance, we could stand by the door while they're doing their thing which we have done before and it's safe to do. We have to make sure we stay within that six-eight feet range. We've all been safe and taking all the proper precautions."
The Disney star and author went viral in 2016 after a photo taken by her hairstylist made the rounds on the internet with what people dubbed her petty expression. This season, Tyra Banks, who is known to serve face herself, will be hosting DWTS and Jackson wants her to know she will be ready to face-off from the dance floor.
"I feel like when you're dancing, especially how we're doing it on live television, you need to give that energy to the camera which is mainly with your face," Jackson says. "You can be doing the dance moves 100% but if your face looks confused it might ruin the dance. That's something that me and my dance partner have been working on a lot — serving face with confidence and with that energy that people can read on-screen and off-screen."
For the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19), including how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are sick, please visit coronavirus.gov.