Coronavirus concerns have led the talk show to film without a studio audience.

By Joey Nolfi
March 11, 2020 at 02:44 PM EDT

Even inanimate objects can't help but stan Whoopi Goldberg.

The Oscar-winning actress and television host began Wednesday's episode of The View as usual by greeting her live studio audience, which, in an effort to reduce human-to-human interaction as the coronavirus outbreak spreads throughout New York City, contained nothing but empty chairs in place of applauding attendees.

"Well hello, hello, hello, ya'll!" Goldberg said at the top of the broadcast as the camera panned toward the back of the studio to reveal rows of vacant seats, before repeating her signature opening line: "Welcome to The View!"

Goldberg went on to explain the show's decision: "The coronavirus situation is still developing, and for the first time ever.... we made the decision not to have a studio audience," she said. "This is unprecedented. This has never happened on The View before."

The episode also marked the return of former View cohost Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who temporarily filled the panel's fifth slot in the absence of recently departed host Abby Huntsman, who left the long-running series earlier this year.

In addition to The View, most of ABC's daytime lineup televised new episodes without their usual live studio audiences, including Good Morning America and Live with Kelly and Ryan, as a means to help stop the spread of the global pandemic that has infected approximately 115,000 people.

Other measures being taken by the entertainment industry to contain the virus include the cancellation of four BTS concerts, the postponement of the Coachella music festival, and the cancellation of the SXSW media festival, among other developments.

Watch Goldberg greet her empty audience above.

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