It should come as no surprise that TV's major medical dramas are planning to incorporate COVID-19 into their storylines; from New Amsterdam to The Good Doctor to of course, the mother of them all Grey's Anatomy, it would be difficult and possibly even silly for a show set in a modern-day hospital to pretend the ongoing coronavirus crisis isn't happening. How they'll make the pandemic part of their storylines and season openers is another matter altogether, though, and while most shows haven't yet started filming new episodes, they're hard at work figuring out how to write the biggest medical event of our time into their series. 

Previously, Entertainment Weekly reported that Grey's executive producer Krista Vernoff had said the COVID storylines wouldn't be all bleak, with the show likely revealing the "joy and fun to be had in [medical professionals] who are quarantining away from the hospital"; now, a new report is saying that the COVID stories we'll see will jump ahead further than where we left doctors of Grey Sloan last season.

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Speaking to ET Online, Giacomo Gianniotti revealed that Grey's will kick off Season 17 "a month and a half" into the pandemic. 

"It's going to take place a little beyond where we left off in the last season. We might have some flashbacks. We might have some things where we're referencing last season, just to have context leading up. But we are going to have a little leap when we start this season in terms of time," he explained.

Gianniotti also said that while he hasn't received any scripts, and production — previously intended to start in August but now hoping to resume in September — is still up in the air, he thinks his character Andrew DeLuca will do well with this new challenge. 

"I think he thrives in chaos and he certainly proved that in past seasons that when there's a lot going on, he steps up," he explained. "This is going to be an obviously stressful situation, but I think an exciting one where he can really shine and then thrive."

Grey's Anatomy Seasons 1-16 are available on Netflix.

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Giacomo Gianniotti, <em>Grey's Anatomy</em>Giacomo Gianniotti, Grey's Anatomy