Coronavirus Kindness: Kristen Bell & Dax Shepard Waive April Rent for Tenants in Their Buildings
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the nation and job security for many becomes increasingly uncertain, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are doing their part to make life a little easier for the people who live in the buildings the actors and landlords own.
The Good Place star, 39, and the Bless This Mess actor, 45, who own several residential buildings in Los Angeles, have decided to waive rent payments for the month of April for their tenants, PEOPLE can confirm. The couple hopes this will take some stress off those who may have fallen on hard times due to the pandemic.
Many Californians are currently facing a loss of income as the state is under a “stay at home” order, asking all residents — almost 40 million people in total — to remain inside their homes, except for absolutely essential outings, until further notice.
According to TMZ, who first reported the story, tenants were alerted to the act of kindness by email, with a message from their manager — Shepard’s sister — that promised to keep residents informed and in mind as the public health crisis continues.
Many Americans may find themselves struggling to pay rent this coming month as more than 167 million people in 17 states are being asked to remain in their residences, the New York Times reported Tuesday. All non-essential workers are being asked not to go in to work, leaving many employees without a form of income.
California was the first state to order citizens to “stay at home,” as issued by Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday, March 19.
“CA is issuing a statewide, mandatory STAY AT HOME order. Those that work in critical sectors should go to work,” Newsom tweeted on Thursday. “We need to meet this moment and flatten the curve together.”
Though it varies by state, most “stay at home” orders mean people are only allowed out of their homes to pick up food and other essential items. The goal is to slow the rate of infection among residents and avoid overloading medical centers. Most residents can leave their homes for exercise and fresh air, though they are recommended to stay six feet apart from other people to practice safe social distancing.
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Bell, Shepard and their two daughters — Delta, 5, and Lincoln, 7 this month — have been practicing social distancing as a family as the pandemic continues.
Last Thursday, Bell shared that her husband had been traveling and was isolating himself in an apartment away from the rest of the family to be safe. She revealed this in a Instagram post, sharing a sweet video of her and the girls entertaining Shepard from afar — running around and getting their groove on to “Waving Through a Window” by Ben Platt, from the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen, in what appears to be the courtyard of an apartment complex.
“@daxshepard Got back from traveling on Monday. To be cautious, I asked him to stay at a friend’s empty apartment for a bit to make sure he had no symptoms,” Bell explained in the caption. “Today we were missing him so much, we did the only logical thing we knew how to do. Danced outside his window to a @bensplatt and @dearevanhansen serenade.”
She ended with the hashtags “#staysane,” “#stayhome,” and “#wereinthistogether.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, there are now at least 43,499 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, as testing becomes more readily available, and 537 people in the U.S. have died from coronavirus-related illness.
Worldwide, there are now 392,780 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 17,159 deaths.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.