Savannah Guthrie Leaves Today Show Early Amid Hoda Kotb's Ongoing Absence

Some viewers were left baffled on February 28 when Savannah Guthrie left "Today" unexpectedly without immediate explanation. It appeared to be business as usual on the morning show, but after 7:30 a.m. local time, Guthrie did not return to the anchor chair despite being on set earlier in the day. Her departure from the show caused some concern, especially because of Hoda Kotb's extended absence from the program. Kotb last filmed the show on February 17 for a February 20 episode alongside co-host Jenna Bush Hager. However, Kotb hasn't been back to the show since, and the public doesn't know why.

There has been plenty of speculation about Kotb's whereabouts, including that she adopted another baby or she's been ill, but nothing has been confirmed by the network, the beloved co-anchor, or anyone else. Kotb has been active on social media, however, she has yet to address why she hasn't been on television in the mornings. On February 27, the 58-year-old shared a photo on her Instagram feed that read "choose hope." She captioned the post with two red heart emojis and nothing more. "I hope you're ok," an Instagram user wrote in the comments section of the post.

Meanwhile, viewers thankfully have an update on Guthrie. Shortly after she left the studio, her absence was explained. 

Savannah Guthrie tested positive for COVID-19

As it turns out, Savannah Guthrie wasn't feeling well while at work on February 28 and had to leave. She ended up taking a COVID test and it came back positive. The news was announced by "Today" anchor Sheinelle Jones, who filled in during the 8 a.m. hour. "By the way, it has been an interesting morning for us. As we said, Savannah left early, she wasn't feeling great, so she took a COVID test. It came back positive," Jones said (via People). "So, as soon as we found out, she rushed home to rest up. So Savannah, we love you, wishing you a speedy recovery," she added. Guthrie has been diagnosed with the virus two times prior. She first tested positive in January 2022 and then again four months later. 

Guthrie has been a staple on "Today" since joining the program in 2011. "It's been a dream come true, really," she told People in 2021 as she celebrated 10 years on the program. For reference, Hoda Kotb has been working on NBC since 1998 and officially joined Guthrie as co-anchor in 2018 —she has been co-hosting the fourth hour of the show since 2008. Fans hope to see both anchors back on set soon.