The next season of 'Grey's Anatomy' will feature a storyline related to COVID-19.

Just in case the goings-on at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital weren't dramatic enough, they've only gone and added in a global pandemic to proceedings. That's right, 'Grey's Anatomy' season 17 will add in the extra element of the coronavirus, a topic that has affected everyone worldwide no matter how small the impact.

The production team behind the ABC drama have been in talks with real-life doctors regarding their experiences with the virus over the past number of months. According to Krista Vernoff, the executive producer of the long-running drama, she said that the medical drama "has a responsibility" to their viewers.

According to People, Vernoff said: "We're going to address this pandemic for sure. There’s no way to be a long-running medical show and not do the medical story of our lifetimes."

Vernoff was speaking during a 'Quaranstreaming: Comfort TV That Keeps Us Going' panel which will air on US TV later next week. She continued by explaining the show's normal writing process, and how this year in particular was one of the most important for healthcare professionals: "Every year, we have doctors come and tell us their stories, and usually they’re telling their funniest or craziest stories.

"It has felt more like therapy. The doctors come in and we’re the first people they’re talking to about these types of experiences they’re having. They are literally shaking and trying not to cry, they’re pale, and they’re talking about it as war - a war that they were not trained for.

"I feel like our show has an opportunity and a responsibility to tell some of those stories."

Finally, in relation to how this coronavirus storyline might affect the characters of 'Grey's Anatomy' season 17, Vernoff teased: "That’s been one of our big conversations about Owen, is that he’s actually trained for this in a way that most of the other doctors aren’t."

The filming of 'Grey's Anatomy' season 17 was delayed earlier this year, and is expected to arrive at some point in 2021. The finale of season 16 aired in The States this past April.