Hampden County

10 residents from Holyoke Veterans Home test positive for COVID-19, officials say

HOLYOKE, Mass. — State officials are investigating a “cluster” of COVID-19 cases at the Holyoke Veterans Home.

The Executive Office of Veterans Services (EOVS) says 10 veteran residents have tested positive for the virus and they’re all recovering or experiencing mild symptoms. The first veteran tested positive on September 16 and the last veteran resident positive case was on Tuesday, September 19, according to a spokesperson.

“The Executive Office of Veterans Services is actively monitoring the cluster of cases at the Holyoke Veterans Home, where ten residents have tested positive for COVID-19,” said Secretary Jon Santiago. “We remain vigilant in monitoring the situation in Holyoke, recognizing that although we are past the height of the pandemic, COVID-19 is endemic, and cases will occur.”

According to officials, no veterans have been hospitalized and universal masking has been implemented throughout the home. Similarly, all positive residents are residing in an isolated unit.

An EOVS spokesperson says the affected residents’ family members and loved ones were updated in a virtual meeting with Holyoke staff on Wednesday.

“Our team is taking a proactive and comprehensive approach while implementing evidence-based measures to provide the highest level of care,” Santiago said. “I wish those infected a speedy recovery and want to express my gratitude to all those working to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents and staff.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, administrators at the Holyoke Veterans Home were charged with elder neglect and permitting serious bodily injury to an elder after 80 veterans died from a COVID-19 outbreak on the premises.

A federal judge approved a nearly $58 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed in response to those deaths.

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