Three more residents at the Actors Fund Home in New Jersey have died from coronavirus, which has now taken the lives of 10 residents at the entertainment retirement home since April 10. The news Tuesday comes after the Actors Fund reported Friday that seven retirees had died from COVID-19, despite the heroic efforts of the staff.
With 113 residents, the retirement home in Englewood, NJ, sits in one of the nation’s hotspots for the coronavirus. Ten other residents there have tested positive for the virus; 13 have tested negative, and five others are awaiting their test results.
Skilled nursing homes across the country have been particularly hard hit by the virus.
“Overall, we have 11 residents that have been cured and have beat this terrible virus,” said Jordan Strohl, administrator of The Actors Fund Home, in a message today to residents’ friends and family members. “We are happy to report that the number of residents showing signs and symptoms of the virus is leveling-off. In addition, fewer residents are requiring isolation and testing.”
“I am happy to report,” he continued, “that since last week, six residents have graduated from our COVID-19 positive part of our subacute unit. Also, in the Long Term Care side, we have been able to graduate two residents from our second internal COVID-19 unit, for a total of five residents.”
“More good news is that our Assisted Living & Memory Care sections of the facility are free from COVID-19. The mitigation efforts, including isolation and keeping residents in their rooms, seems to be very effective,” he wrote. “In terms of staffing, things continue to improve. Fewer staff members are out due to illness or because they have been in contact with someone with COVID-19. I think that this could be a sign that the curve is flattening.”
On Friday, Strohl told Deadline that some 35-40 staff members – mostly caregivers – had also tested positive, or were showing symptoms, and are in quarantine because of their direct exposure to residents who tested positive. No staffers have died, however.
“As The Actors Fund team continues to battle this terrible virus, I want to continue to remind all of you that our staff is here for you,” Strohl told family members today. “Over this past weekend, most of my department heads and supervisors, including myself, were in the facility to help in any way we can and address any of your questions or concerns.
“I also wanted to mention that we have been struggling to maintain our current menu items as our food vendors are starting to be out of certain products, which requires us to make a good deal of substitutions to our menus. Thankfully, we continue to have plenty of personal protective equipment for our staff, even though we are using a tremendous amount of it daily.
“Finally, many of you have been replying to these emails, and I would like to say thank you to all for your kind words! These past few weeks have been difficult and we are dealing with things that we never thought we would during this pandemic. I can assure you that Team Actors Fund is here to help you in any way we can.”
On the West Coast, the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s skilled nursing home in Woodland Hills has lost four residents to the virus.