“This has been an emotional week,” the producers stated on Instagram. “In addition, as COVID-19 numbers continue to increase, safety is a top priority for us. As much as we enjoy having everyone together in the same room, to protect the artists and everyone who works with us in putting the shows together, we’ll be going back to separate locations for a bit. We’re excited for the next few events, and look forward to getting back to the show in the coming weeks.”
The show also announced that it will eventually broadcast the battle between Ashanti and Keyshia Cole, which was originally scheduled for Dec. 12, but delayed when Ashanti tested positive for the coronavirus. Although the battle was originally postponed to Jan. 9, 2021, the latest post from Verzuz states that the episode is "coming soon."
When Ashanti announced the results of her positive test last month, she assured her fans that she was OK and looking forward to the battle.
"Hey y'all I can't believe I'm saying this, but I tested positive for COVID-19," the artist wrote on Instagram, as Blavity previously reported. "I'm OK and not in any pain. I'm actually down to do the Verzuz from my house… We're trying to figure it all out!!!"
Verzuz, however, decided to avoid any risks.
"Unfortunately, we have to postpone tonight’s Ashanti vs Keyshia Cole VERZUZ," the program stated. "Ashanti tested positive for COVID-19 beforehand, and we cannot put anyone at risk in the process. First time this has struck us so close to showtime. We apologize to our incredible audience! Get well soon, Ashanti. Wear a mask, stay inside, and take COVID-19 seriously. It’s truly affecting our community."
“I feel so blessed to be able to celebrate another birthday,” the R&B legend wrote on Instagram after recovering. “I tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, as did my family. It’s an incredibly scary thing to go through my friends. I’m happy to report we have now tested negative and are on our way back to full health.”
According to CNN, the coronavirus continues to surge across the country, with an average of about 247,200 cases a day over the last week as of Friday. An average of 2,982 deaths a day has also been reported over the last week. More than 4,000 coronavirus deaths were recorded on Thursday, the highest single-day total.