13 independent living residents at Chelsea Soldiers’ Home test positive for COVID-19

CHELSEA, Mass. — A number of independent living residents have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea, the site of a deadly outbreak at the start of the pandemic.

But the cases are confined to the domiciliary, where residents are largely independent, rather than the long-term care facility. Domiciliary residents do not require daily assistance or supervision and typically spend time out in the community or at their workplace.

“Routine testing over the holiday weekend at the Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea has identified several domiciliary residents who tested positive for COVID-19,” a spokesperson for the state Department of Veterans’ Services said.

There were 13 positive cases among domiciliary residents. No one living in long-term care, located in a separate building, tested positive.

“Impacted residents are safely self-isolating and following all guidelines from the Center for Disease and Prevention and the Department of Public Health,” the spokesperson said. “Leadership and staff continue to prioritize resident and staff health and safety and are adhering to infection control protocols and maintaining best practices for the safety of veteran residents and staff, and have increased regular surveillance testing.”

Regular surveillance testing at the home has been increased to three times a week.

A second booster clinic began Wednesday and will continue Thursday. It was originally scheduled for next week, but moved up due to increasing cases in the community.

There are no COVID cases among the residents of the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke.

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