Val Chmerkovskiy Tests Positive for COVID-19 During Season 31 of 'Dancing With the Stars'

Is Val coming back to 'Dancing With the Stars' during Season 31? He had to take a medical leave and another dancer took his place.

Chrissy Bobic - Author

Oct. 31 2022, Updated 7:10 a.m. ET

Live reality shows don't make for many spoilers ahead of each new episode. But fans of Dancing With the Stars were still aware before the Oct. 31 episode that Val Chmerkovskiy had to step out. After a positive COVID-19 test, Val had to leave the show, per policies in place to stop the spread of the virus. But is Val coming back to Dancing With the Stars?

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Right now, that's the most important question among fans, after the concern for his health of course. And at this point in the season, it's hard not to worry about one of the show's most prominent professional dancers.

Luckily, there are other pros and troupe members who can step in for cast members when they need to take a leave of absence. And many are curious if Alan Bersten is Val's permanent replacement in Season 31.

Val Chmerkovskiy and Gabby Windey
Source: nstagram / @valentin

Val Chmerkovskiy and Gabby Windey.

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Is Val coming back to 'Dancing With the Stars'?

On Oct. 28, Val revealed on Instagram that he tested positive for COVID-19 and would have to sit out the Oct. 31 Halloween episode. Alan is dancing with his celebrity partner Gabby Windey in his place, however, since she tested negative.

And in that regard, the show will go on. And as long as this hiccup of Gabby getting a new partner days before the live show airs doesn't result in low scores and votes, Val plans to return for the Nov. 7 episode of Dancing With the Stars.

"This is a huge bummer, I'm very disappointed," he said on Instagram. "I feel like I let some people down, and selfishly, was really looking forward to this week's routine, being Halloween, being Argentine Tango. I really love this routine but the good thing is Gabby knows it, Gabby's ready and Alan's gonna do a great job and you guys are gonna vote us through, so I'll be back next week."

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How long will Alan Bersten fill in for Val?

The current protocol for COVID-19 on Dancing With the Stars seems to be isolation for whichever cast member tests positive, but for just one week, barring any other serious symptoms. Because of that, and Val's promise to be back "next week" after the Halloween episode, Alan just has to fill in for the week of Oct. 31.

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If Gabby had also tested positive, however, it may have been a different story. In Season 30, when pro Cheryl Burke and her partner, Cody Rigsby, both tested positive for COVID-19, they both remained off the ballroom floor. Instead, they performed remotely in order to stay in the competition and continue to earn scores from the judges and votes from viewers.

Thankfully for Val and Gabby, Val is the only one who needs to hang up his dancing shoes, if only for one week.

Watch Dancing With the Stars on Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on Disney Plus.

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