Holyoke community mourns after 13 deaths reported at Soldier’s Home

Coronavirus Local Impact

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Holyoke community is mourning after 13 deaths were reported at the Soldiers’ Home Tuesday.

Local veterans are also mourning the loss of these vets.

“It’s a terrible thing, I mean I talked to veterans this morning and they are depressed. It’s like how can you let that happen?” asked Paul Mina of Springfield, son of a WWII veteran. “We’ve got to care for our veterans all the time as if they were heroes, cuz they are.”

22News Reporter Sydney Snow spoke with state and local leaders who don’t believe enough actions were taken to protect veterans and staff.

Alex Morse told 22News “These are veterans at the Soldiers Home that gave their all for each and every one of us…and frankly, they deserved better.” 

Congressman Neal is calling for a thorough state investigation. 

“We’ve called upon them in moments of great national challenge, world wars, regional conflict, but they’ve always done their part and that special category of designation that they receive particularly in retirement years at a Soldiers’ Home I think is very important,” said Neal. 

In addition to the veteran residents, seven staff members have also tested positive. 

In accordance with CDC guidelines, the residents who tested positive or are awaiting results have been isolated and staff members who had contact with them have been advised to quarantine until they are asymptomatic. 

Test results are still pending for five of those veterans who died.  

One tested negative and one is unknown.

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