CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Continuing coverage now on nursing homes closing here in western Massachusetts. 22News heard from state leaders, calling this a crisis for the commonwealth after one closed Wednesday in Chicopee.

22News spoke with State Senator John Velis who told us these closures are a failure of the state.
Willimansett Center East in Chicopee was the first of four to shut its doors for good. Velis told 22News, the policy to ensure rooms are not full of residents, while good in theory, really impacted these facilities, and applying for a policy waiver was very difficult and not granted to most of these nursing homes

“If you think this is just a western Massachusetts thing, and these four facilities, there are 31 facilities apart of a lawsuit right now. This is just the beginning. You know, western Massachusetts was the first battle on this front, but this will come all over the state,” said State Senator John Velis of Westfield. “One thing that I think this has done, if you were to ask me the one positive is that it’s starting a conversation.”

The state’s department of public health approved a closure date of June 6th for all four facilities.