Governor Baker’s office investigating deaths at Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke

Coronavirus Local Impact

BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts lawmakers are reacting to the news that critical information from the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke may have gone unreported.

As of right now, the superintendent of the Soldiers Home in Holyoke, Bennett Walsh is the only person placed on paid administrative leave, but, an independent investigator has been brought in to look into the incident there.

So far, 15 residents have died in the Holyoke facility, 6 of those were COVID-19 related. Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse took to Facebook on Tuesday, saying there was a clear lack of urgency in reporting COVID-19 cases found inside the Soldiers Home.

Governor Baker also spoke out about the incident, calling the deaths at the Holyoke facility a gutwrenching loss.

“Our deepest sympathy to the members of the Holyoke Soldiers Home community,” said Gov. Baker. “They’re many of our state’s finest, all of whom served our country and all of whom sacrificed on our behalf.”

Right now, the Soldiers Home in Holyoke is home to more than 200 veterans and 232 residents there are in long-term care. The state has deployed a mobile testing unit to test every resident and staff for COVID-19.

State and local lawmakers say this should have never happened, and they are hoping to get some answers from the independent investigators. In the meantime, they say they are working to keep the situation there contained.

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