WOODLAND HILLS—The Motion Picture & Television Fund’s (MPTF) nursing facility in Woodland Hills is now seeking ways to recover after the deadly outbreak of COVID-19 posed a threat to the retired community and six residents who have died.
MPTF is an organization that is supported by philanthropy and volunteer services of fellow entertainment industry members. The six residents who died of coronavirus complications at the MPTF include 64-year-old John Breier, who was identified as the first death at the retirement community, 99-year-old Stanley Kramer’s executive secretary Leah Brenstein, 77-year-old cinematographer Allen Daviau, 80-year-old actor Allen Garfield, 87-year-old television producer/screenwriter Joel Rogosin, and 91-year-old Disney animator Ann Sullivan.
“Today we are staring down the single most daunting existential threat to MPTF, the COVID-19 virus. We’ve gotten through the transition from silent films to talkies, from black-and-white to color, from analog-to-digital, through a Depression and a World War, from film to TV and film to TV, film, and streaming, from recessions and consolidations but never anything like this pernicious, invisible, sometimes lethal, droplet-transmitted infectious disease that has brought our industry to a grinding halt, sent us all to hunker down at home and invaded the residence of our most frail and vulnerable industry seniors on the Motion Picture campus,” said MPTF President and CEO Bob Beitcher in a statement.
Beitcher said that health of residents and employees is the priority, so MPTF is following steps and recommendations issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), California Department of Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and the Department of Social Services. The precautions they have taken to protect residents and staff include restricting visitors from entering the campus, canceling nonessential activities, educating residents on COVID-19 hygiene, increasing frequency of cleaning with anti-viral chemical solutions, and providing enough hand sanitizer everywhere on campus.
MPTF is now nursing 11 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 in an isolation unit, and Beitcher said he is happy to announce that the first positive-tested resident is recovering from the illness and returned to his home in the community.