With nursing homes especially vulnerable to the spread of the COVID-19, the Motion Picture & Television Fund has taken extraordinary steps to ensure the safety of its more than 250 entertainment industry retirees living at its Wasserman Campus in Woodland Hills.
None of the retirement villagers has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, but preventative measures that have been taken include restrictions on visits from family members; banning communal gatherings, including residential meals and movie screenings; and daily thermal scannings of residents and everyone entering the campus, including all employees.
“MPTF, with a high-risk population of over 250 industry members on its campus in Woodland Hills, has been extremely proactive and rigorous in its COVID-19 measures, meeting or exceeding guidelines set by the California Department of Public Health, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and the Department of Social Services,” MPTF president and CEO Bob Beitcher told Deadline. “These measures are modified consistent with changing conditions. To date there are no reported COVID-19 cases.”
He added: “Starting with an intensive education of its resident population on COVID-19 hygiene measures over two weeks ago, campus-wide distribution of hand gel and germicidal disposable wipes, and cough/cover signage. MPTF has subsequently initiated policies that restrict entry onto its campus and monitor residents, employees, and essential visitors. It begins with thermal scanning (taking temperature through an infrared-based device) everyone entering the campus, including employees on a daily basis, and a questionnaire that checks for recent travel, known exposure to those who have traveled recently, and other COVID-19 symptoms (cough, chest congestion, and headache).
“Campus residents are thermal scanned every morning as well and any changes in condition are noted,” Beitcher continued. “Enhanced precaution measures, including restricting residents to their living quarters and banning communal gathering, including residential meals and film screenings, have been temporarily put into place. Through its Channel 22 in-house media outlet, MPTF is able to communicate broadly with its residents on a 24×7 basis, providing COVID-19 updates as well as programming that keeps residents alert and engaged. Families of residents are restricted from visiting but are receiving weekly communications from MPTF. MPTF has an active FaceTime program in place for residents to communicate with each other or with family. Finally, MPTF is prepared to provide child care for its employees’ families in the event of school closings, to offer an isolation unit for any infected residents or employees, and to shelter employees who for any reason are unable to travel back-and-forth to work.”