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Howie Mandel wears hazmat suit to ‘America’s Got Talent’ taping as fellow judge Heidi Klum falls ill on set

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Some celebrities just aren’t taking chances when it comes to protecting themselves amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Howie Mandel showed up to work on the set of America’s Got Talent in a full hazmat suit, with gloves, a mask and breathing tube. The comedian, who is a notorious germaphobe, took off his ball cap to pose for photographers outside the studio.

Perhaps it wasn’t the worst idea. After all, fellow judge Heidi Klum left the set on Tuesday after falling ill. She missed the taping, so for the live show there were only three judges, also including Simon Cowell and Sofia Vergara.

Howie Mandel outside the 'America's Got Talent' studio on March 10. (Photo: PG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

While the hosts joked in front of the audience about Klum having food poisoning, with new host Vergara quipping that she sent Klum food the night before, Klum doesn’t have food poisoning, according to TMZ. She was just under the weather.

And, no, she does not have the coronavirus, an insider told the news outlet.

AGT continues to have live audiences while other shows — the Wendy Williams Shows, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune included — have temporarily halted the practice as the coronavirus spreads across the U.S.

While Mandel may have been going for laughs with his attire, he does have a crippling fear of germs. He suffers from OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), and has long opted for a fist bump, instead of shaking hands, from way back in his Deal or No Deal days. He’s also said he won’t touch money (unless it’s been washed), doesn’t use handrails and makes his makeup artist use a new sponge before touching his face each day. And his signature bald haircut? That he does by choice — he’s said it feels more “clean.”

It’s not to say he’s not having a little fun with the hazmat suit — after all, he is a comedian. The other day he joked about how , with the coronavirus, he’s not comfortable going to the movies or the mall. The one place he was OK going, he joked, was the DMV.

And Mandel isn’t the only one protecting himself. Naomi Campbell also wore a hazmat suit at Los Angeles International Airport.

The model, who also takes germs very seriously, shared several photos of herself in the zip up outfit, which featured a hood. She had a blue mask over her mouth, wore goggles and pink gloves.

She thanked fellow model Linda Evangelista for the “next level” protection, writing, “safety first.”

Campbell shared her travel routine last year and it went viral for its extremeness. As soon as she gets on a flight, she dons rubber gloves then uses wipes “to clean anything that you can possibly touch. After a lengthy cleaning session, she put on a seat cover on (which get hand washed at whatever hotel she goes to). She also wears a mask for every flight — regardless of whether it’s private or commercial.

Celebrities have been showing the precautions they are taking to travel amid the coronavirus on social media. Marvel actor Sebastian Stan was called the “CEO of staying safe” for his travel getup as he headed to Prague to shoot The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. (The production has since been halted as the virus spreads.) Gwyneth PaltrowKate Hudson and Kourtney Kardashian have also been playing it safe with masks.

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