First MPTF Nursing Home Retiree Tests Positive For Coronavirus; Two Others Showing Symptoms


A retiree at the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s skilled nursing facility has tested positive for the coronavirus, and two others are exhibiting symptoms and have been transferred to an isolation unit. This is the first incident of COVID-19 at the facility, where some 250 entertainment retirees live on the Wasserman Campus in Woodland Hills.

MPTF president and CEO Bob Beitcher, saying that the staff “is devastated,” praised them for being “absolutely heroic in all aspects of their jobs, totally committed to mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and providing the best care to our residents.”

MPTF Taking Extraordinary Steps To Protect Wasserman Campus Retirees From Coronavirus

Here’s the full statement he released tonight:

Today, MPTF is reporting its first case of a resident testing positive for COVID-19 on our campus in Woodland Hills. The resident is from our skilled nursing unit and has been at West Hills Hospital for several days. While he tested negative with our test kit, the West Hills Hospital test was positive. Prior to being transferred to West Hills, this resident had been treated as if he were COVID-19 positive and staff took all recommended precautions.

Two other residents in skilled nursing are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. We are working with Public Health to get them tested. In the meantime, they have been transferred to an 18-bed isolation unit we established over the past few weeks on campus. A totally separate caregiving team will staff this unit and treat them in isolation. There will be no family visitations allowed. If the mild-to-moderate symptoms presenting today progress, the resident will have the option to transfer to a local acute care hospital.

MPTF has notified the family of these symptomatic residents, and staff and other residents on the campus and their families have been communicated with as well. We are offering the caregivers on the isolation unit the option of sheltering in place in a separate facility we’ve set up for this purpose. These are our amazing and selfless caregivers on the front-line of this contagion and we need to do everything we can to protect them and their families and show them how grateful we are. Since March 6th, well before any state or federal mandated actions, MPTF has taken extraordinary measures to ensure the safety of its residents and staff and will continue to do so. Our residents have been sheltering in place, with no communal gatherings of any sort, for over 3 weeks. Entry on our campus is limited to essential employees only, and they are thermal scanned every day and asked a series of questions about their own health conditions and their potential direct or indirect exposure to COVID-19. Our hospitality staff delivers meals to the doors of our residents and our housekeeping staff is focused on disinfecting all high-touch areas. Everyone needs to know and understand that until we have widespread and quick testing, so many of us – me, you, our families and friends — are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, shedding the virus without knowing it, with the negative consequences you read about or hear about all day. Hence the urgent need for continued vigilance around physical distancing. The staff is devastated obviously, but they know this, and I reminded them of it again this morning, they have been absolutely heroic in all aspects of their jobs, totally committed to mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and providing the best care to our residents. Today, we all have to assume that everyone we come into contact with is COVID-19 asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic and treat the situation that way. For now, for us, for you, it’s all about containment.

In the meantime, we hold our positive resident and his family in our thoughts and prayers.

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