On many movie units at the moment, there’s somebody checking behind the scenes, making certain actors, crew and everybody in between is doing what they’ll to guard others from contracting COVID-19.
Michael Benzaia, 34, a Pine Bush ’04 graduate, is a type of individuals. He is not simply the on-set masks and social distancing police, though, generally he mentioned it could really feel that approach.
His new position, dubbed the “COVID security officer,” that he took on in Might, is one he sees nice significance in. And it is one thing he thinks others may think about taking up now that the world is on this new period.
“It is a fairly pivotal position, and it is the rationale why we will keep open,” Benzaia mentioned by telephone from the seashore in California on a Friday morning.
Previous to COVID-19, Benzaia traveled between his properties in Montgomery and Los Angeles, working as a medical guide on Hollywood movie units and portraying medical doctors in TV exhibits like “Tips on how to Get Away With Homicide,” “Basic Hospital,” and “Shameless.”
He placed on his new COVID Security Officer hat utilizing his medical background as a former radiology technician at native services, like Garnet Medical Heart within the City of Wallkill (previously Orange Regional Medical Heart), Middletown Medical and Horton Hospital, to watch Hollywood units for novel coronavirus pandemic steering compliance.
Other than ensuring everybody wears their face coverings and stays 6 ft aside when not being filmed, Benzaia mentioned he additionally has to verify every worker stays of their designated area, which he refers to as “zoning.”
When meals is supplied to actors and crew, every portion must be individually handed out, and people on set have to eat and keep of their designated zones to maintain publicity to a minimal and to make contact tracing simpler, Benzaia mentioned.
He has to remain updated on the newest Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention steering, which might change day-to-day, relying on the scenario, in addition to state and native laws, whether or not he is in California or the Hudson Valley.
Benzaia mentioned that usually units mandate every worker be examined earlier than filming begins. He has to verify everybody will get their assessments executed shortly and safely, and that nobody goes on-set earlier than their adverse end result comes again.
There’s fairly a little bit of paperwork concerned, however he mentioned it is value it to maintain individuals protected and dealing.
If somebody assessments optimistic, Benzaia is the go-to particular person to guarantee that particular person doesn’t return to set till they take a look at adverse at the least 3 times, and he has to contact hint to verify everybody uncovered quarantines for the suitable period of time.
There’s a whole lot of bodily duties, however his presence on set alone does loads, he added.
“You are the person who if somebody feels that one thing is not being executed correctly, that involves you,” he mentioned.
If the vaccine is profitable in bringing down the pandemic, Benzaia thinks the job will nonetheless be related because the trade and way-of-life norms proceed to vary over the subsequent few months.