11 residents of Holyoke veterans home die - at least 5 tested positive for COVID-19

HOLYOKE — The superintendent of a Massachusetts veteran’s home was removed from his duties Monday after 11 residents died, including at least five who had tested positive for coronavirus and another five whose results are pending.

Bennett Walsh was placed on paid administrative leave following the deaths at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Dan Tsai said in a statement.

Gov. Charlie Baker mourned the victims Monday evening, calling the deaths a “shuddering loss for us all.”

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“As someone who has visited the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home on many occasions to catch up with staff and residents, I am heartbroken by today’s news,” the governor tweeted.

Another surviving 11 residents have tested positive for the virus at the home, as have five staff members, according to the state Department of Veterans Services.

Tsai said the state has created an onsite clinical team to respond to the situation.

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