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Joy Behar says she's stepping away from 'The View' due to coronavirus concerns

The 77-year-old co-host says she will be leaving the show for a week to practice 'social distancing' because she is at an at-risk age for coronavirus.
/ Source: TODAY

Joy Behar said she is stepping away as a co-host of "The View" for precautionary reasons due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Behar, 77, announced her decision on Friday's episode of the ABC daytime talk show.

Joy Behar is stepping away from "The View" for at least a week in a precautionary measure against the coronavirus outbreak.Paula Lobo / ABC

"You really can't tell how old I am by looking at me, but I am actually up there,'' Behar said. "I decided that I think I'm gonna stay home for a while. I'm gonna socially distance myself for a little bit, so next week you won't see me here."

Behar, who said the move was prompted by her daughter texting to ask if she was going to stay home, will not be on the show next week. She will reevaluate her status after that time.

"I have to point out I'm in a higher-risk group for my age, but I'm perfectly healthy,'' Behar said. "I'm doing this myself. Luckily I don't have to worry about childcare and things like that, and also I have enough money to take off some time."

She asked co-hosts Meghan McCain, Sunny Hostin and Whoopi Goldberg if they were going to miss her.

"Probably," Goldberg deadpanned. "Here's the truth. Only you know what will work for you, and that's important."

The three other co-hosts plan to remain on the show, which has joined numerous other shows by no longer filming in front of a live audience. None of the co-hosts or staff members on "The View" have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, according to Variety.

Behar's decision also comes after Oscar winner Tom Hanks, 63, revealed that he and his wife, Rita Wilson, 63, both have been diagnosed with coronavirus while in Australia.

A top official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended on Monday that people over age 60 and anyone with chronic medical conditions should prepare for a lengthy stay at home.

“This seems to be a disease that affects adults and most seriously older adults," Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters on a conference call.

"Starting at age 60, there is an increasing risk of disease and the risk increases with age."

The CDC recommends anyone over 60 or with underlying conditions should stock up on medications, groceries and household items so they can stay home "for a period of time."