Former Holyoke Soldiers’ Home superintendent to fight letter of termination from Governor

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Former District Attorney William Bennett, who is representing former Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Superintendent Bennett Walsh, held a news conference Thursday morning discussing the facts regarding the COVID-19 crisis at the Soldiers’ Home.

Bennett also discussed the state report and pending lawsuits involving Bennett Walsh. According to Bill Bennett, Bennett Walsh has received a letter of termination from Governor Charlie Baker but Walsh and his attorney do not think it is valid and are fighting it.

There will be a Board of Trustees meeting July 30 to determine his status.

According to Holyoke Soldiers’ Home spokesperson Brooke Karanovich, Holyoke’s Clinical Command continues to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak at the home by monitoring staffing levels, bringing in additional management staff for nursing, facilities, and administration.

All veteran residents’ health is being monitored and retesting is being conducted for veterans both on- and off-site as needed.

Since March 1, there have been 101 veteran deaths. Of those deaths, 76 veterans tested positive, 20 veterans tested negative, one veteran’s status was unknown and four veterans were clinically recovered.

Employees at the home have been retested and have all recovered.

The following information is the current status of all residents at the Soldiers’ Home as of Wednesday:

  • No veterans are positive across the Home and those at Holyoke Medical Center
  • 62 veterans are negative 
  • 82 veterans have recovered, meaning they previously tested positive and are now clinically recovered 
  • 0 veterans have a pending test result 
  • 1 veteran has refused testing
  • 119 veterans are onsite 
  • 26 veterans are offsite 
  • 25 veterans are at a dedicated skilled nursing unit at Holyoke Medical Center 
  • 1 veteran is receiving acute care offsite 

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