Ellen DeGeneres Details Her COVID Experience as She Returns to Host Talk Show
Ellen DeGeneres shares her experience with COVID-19.
The 62-year-old comedian returned to host the Ellen DeGeneres show for the first episode of 2021 on Wednesday, a month after the show suspended production when DeGeneres tested positive for the virus.
"I tested positive before the vacation," she told her virtual audience. "I'm fine now, everything is fine, everything is clear to me. I would like to thank everyone who has given us kind words of support."
She said she first learned of her diagnosis while preparing to record an episode of her long-running show.
"I was just about to record the show and I had the hair and makeup. Then my assistant Craig walks in and says, 'You tested positive for COVID,'" she recalled. "And then everyone around me ran away. I immediately left the studio and our COVID security team informed everyone I had contact with."
Warner Bros. Ellen DeGeneres
RELATED: Ellen DeGeneres Talks "Excruciating Back Pain" After COVID-19 Diagnosis
DeGeneres continued: "I went home, obviously I had to quarantine. Portia [de Rossi] let me sleep on another bed in another room because she wanted the racing car bed to herself. Have the first three days I slept 16 hours a day. And then, on the fourth day, I woke up with back cramps. It just stopped and the doctor put pain killers and muscle relaxants on me. "
She said the "pain medication didn't work" and that it "felt like I broke my rib". She was then given a steroid pack from doctors which she believed helped alleviate the discomfort.
"That's the only symptom I've had," she said of her back pain. "I didn't have a headache, I didn't have a fever, I haven't lost my sense of taste. I started to feel better and I'm very happy and very, very blessed. That was it for me."
"The strange thing is that I don't know where I got it from," added DeGeneres when he caught the virus. "I wear a mask, I wash my hands. It is a mystery to me how that would happen."
Michael Rozman / Warner Bros. Ellen DeGeneres
DeGeneres first announced the news of her diagnosis on December 10 and said in a statement on social media that she had "tested positive for Covid-19".
"Fortunately, I'm fine right now," she added at the time. "Everyone who has been in close contact with me has been notified and I am following all proper CDC guidelines."
"Please stay safe and healthy," she concluded. "Dear, Ellen."
- Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 10, 2020
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On December 31, a Telepictures spokesperson told PEOPLE that the original production return date had been postponed for a week in early January due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been filmed without a studio audience and with a mix of virtual and personal celebrity guests since the season 18 premiere in September.
Because information about the coronavirus pandemic changes rapidly, PEOPLE strives to provide the latest data in our reporting. Some of the information in this story may have changed since it was published. For the latest information on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local health authorities. Donate to Direct Relief here to provide life-saving medical resources for frontline doctors and nurses.
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