There’s more good news from the Actors Fund Home in New Jersey, which hasn’t seen any new coronavirus cases in the past 10 days. The facility also is reporting that 20 residents who had been stricken have recovered.
Sadly, during the first six weeks of the pandemic, 10 of its residents had died from the virus, but there hasn’t been a coronavirus-related death there since April 21. The facility in Englewood, NJ, which is home to more than 100 entertainment industry retirees, is located in what had been one of the state’s coronavirus hotspots.
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“Let me start with the best news,” Jordan Strohl, the home’s administrator, wrote today in his latest update to family members of residents. “Since April 23rd, we have not had to place a single resident in isolation and/or conduct any COVID-19 testing. In fact, just this morning at 11am we officially broke down the internal COVID-19 unit which was part of the Long Term Care side of the building. In an abundance of caution, we are keeping three residents on isolation for a few additional days because of recent hospitalizations or other medical issues. Officially, as of today, we have cured 20 residents of COVID-19 and they all continue to get stronger every day.”
More from Strohl’s email:
“Other than residents in the designated COVID-19 unit in the subacute care section of The Home, we have only one positive resident in the facility. That COVID-19 unit will remain operational as long as needed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Equally as important is the fact that we have not seen any new residents who are exhibiting any signs or symptoms, and we are optimistic that we have flattened the curve.
“What allowed us to get to this point, is the fact that we were prepared and planned ahead. As I have stated many times, we had the PPE in the facility and that was a big plus. Over the Easter weekend, when we saw things turning for the worse, we took decisive action to create a second internal COVID-19 unit. Our excellent staff were in the facility ready to battle.
“Thankfully, the numbers are continuing to improve in Northern New Jersey, and I continue to receive reports from the local hospitals that the curve has flattened in this area. However, we must stay very focused on the possibility of re-infection. We simply cannot let our guard down or relax our practices as what we have done has worked, and we do not want to go backwards.”
The Actors Fund, which operates the retirement home, is also playing a leading role in providing financial assistance to industry workers who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.
Since March 18, the fund has received more than 12,000 requests for emergency financial assistance, and as of Thursday night, has provided nearly $8.2 million to 6,939 people in need. The fund helps all members of the industry – not just actors. Support and revenue the fund needs to continue to provide that financial aid now exceeds $22 million.
“For perspective,” Joe Benincasa, president and CEO of the Actors Fund, told Deadline, “in six weeks The fund has received the equivalent of four years’ worth of applications for assistance and provided four times the amount of assistance normally distributed in one year.”
In the coming months, he said, “with entertainment work stoppage and state quarantines still in transition, we anticipate continuing to meet the ongoing demand for emergency financial assistance and we will continue to help people secure and sustain health insurance through education and enrollment; help them access government systems and navigate careers in the COVID economy; address mental health, addiction and recovery challenges; foster understanding of how to secure affordable housing and build affordable housing, and provide Senior Care for those living around us, at our residences in Manhattan, Brooklyn and West Hollywood, and in Englewood, NJ.”
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