The 45-year-old actress discussed Season 3 during Thursday's episode of Good Morning America after resuming production on the Roseanne spinoff.
"We want to reflect what's going on. I think people ... they want to see some version of what's happening in the world or in their lives," Gilbert said. "I think it would be strange to just be sitting at a restaurant with a group of people in a scene when that's not what's happening in the world."
Gilbert, who plays Darlene Conner-Healy on The Conners, said the show is balancing its portrayal of the pandemic with the "fatigue" many people feel about the health crisis.
"There are storylines that touch on it. It affects each of our lives, in terms of our livelihood, the way it's affecting many people," the star said. "We also have a lot of storylines that aren't related."
"You see masks and you see things like that, but it's not always front and center of every storyline," she added.
The Conners is the first broadcast comedy series to resume production following the shutdown in March. Gilbert said it's been "wild" to reunite with her co-stars.
"I feel grateful that we get to come into work every day. It's definitely different -- there's a lot of masks and a lot space. It's not exactly the same. I do feel very lucky," she said. "Definitely it's been a lot of fun."
Gilbert said the cast and crew wear masks, keep their distance while filming and undergo regular COVID-19 testing.
"It's pretty extensive," the actress said of the safety measures.
"I think no decision is being taken lightly right now," she added. "I think everybody, no matter who we are, are sort of weighing out what we can do and can't do, and what feels safe."