Ellen DeGeneres Shares the Dramatic Way She Learned She Had COVID-19 as She Returns to Talk Show

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Ellen DeGeneres
Warner Bros.

Ellen DeGeneres is grateful to be back on her talk show after a dramatic exit back in December. The 62-year-old host returns for Wednesday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show where she opens up about her experience with COVID-19 and the dramatic way she found out she'd contracted the virus. 

"Obviously there's a lot of negative things going on, so I want to talk about something positive, my COVID test," she quips at the start of the episode, reassuring viewers, "I'm fine now, I'm all good. Everything's clear." 

The virtual audience in Wednesday's episode had also been there back in December when DeGeneres discovered she'd tested positive. 

"I was getting ready to tape the show that you were going to be here for, and I was in hair and makeup, getting my face powdered and my extensions put in and then my assistant, Craig, walks in and says, 'You've tested positive for COVID,'" the talk show host recalls. "And then everyone around me ran away. It's funny, people just really get scared. Some have not come back since." 

DeGeneres also pokes fun at her longtime producer, Andy Lassner or "Average Andy," saying he was one of the first people out the door upon hearing about her diagnosis. 

"I left the studio immediately and our COVID safety team informed everyone that I had been in contact with. They told Andy Lassner, and when he heard he literally ran at full speed off the lot, which is amazing, I didn't realize that you could run, Andy. I thought it was just the slow walking," she jokes. 

Once home, DeGeneres was also kicked out of her bedroom by wife Portia de Rossi. 

"I had to quarantine, and Portia made me sleep in a different room on a different bed because she wanted the race car bed all to herself," she jokes. 

DeGeneres previously revealed that her symptoms included severe back pain, and reiterates that the pain "felt like I'd cracked a rib." 

"It's the only symptom I had. I didn't have a headache. I didn't have a fever," she says, before joking, "I didn't lose my sense of taste, although I did wear Crocs with socks for a day, so you be the judge."

As for how she contracted the virus, DeGeneres adds, "The weird thing is, I don't know where I got it. I still don't know where I got it. I wear a mask. I wash my hands. I only licked three or four door handles. It's a mystery to me."

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