Seven staff members, four veterans test positive for COVID-19 again at Holyoke Soldiers’ Home

Coronavirus Local Impact

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – As of Tuesday, a total of four veteran residents and seven staff members at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, who previously recovered from COVID-19, have tested positive for the virus again.

According to Holyoke Soldiers’ Home spokesperson Brooke Karanovich, three of these individuals have no symptoms and the fourth person has an alternative non-covid explanation for their symptoms. Out of an abundance of caution, all four veterans are being isolated from other veterans.

Out of the seven staff members who clinically recovered and tested positive again, all are asymptomatic. They have been directed to self-quarantine out of an abundance of caution. Six of those seven staff members who were re swabbed came back negative later in the week. According to Karanovich the 7th was not tested as their employment has since ended.

As of Tuesday, 59 residents have tested negative, two have pending results, 77 have clinically recovered from the virus and one resident has refused testing.

According to Karanovich all employees had been determined clinically recovered and employees were retested again Thursday and Friday of last week. Of the 328 staff, 289 agreed to test in the second round of testing last week.

Since March 1 there have been 76 veteran deaths who tested positive for COVID-19 and since the start of the pandemic, 80 residents had been determined clinically recovered.

The home has been implementing protocols for clinically recovered individuals who may test positive even after they’ve recovered. Residents are closely monitored and if there is any sign of COVID-19 symptoms they are immediately retested.

Individuals are determined recovered according to CDC guidelines and may test positive even after recovering. According to Karanovich this is a consequence of the PCR test, which is positive to picking up virus or viral remnants even weeks after recovery.

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