Soldiers’ Home staff, local residents express concern over handling of COVID-19 situation

Coronavirus Local Impact

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Several employees and family members of residents at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home continue to express their concern and frustration over the spread of COVID-19 that lead to more than a dozen deaths at the home.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the lives of residents and employees at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. There are still many questions as to how the virus spread so quickly.

A CNA who has worked here for more than 20 years told 22News that short staff and lack of procedure are two of the reasons the virus spread so quickly. 22News spoke with the CNA known only as Debra over the phone. Debra has been a nurse at the soldiers home for about 24 years.

Debra has not worked in two weeks due to feeling sick. She also tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. Debra said she first received word about a resident testing positive for COVID-19 about two weeks ago, right around the same time she started feeling sick herself.

She said several employees knew a resident had the virus and told management but no isolation procedures were put in place.

“There was no isolation no quarantine,” Debra added. “They’re mixing them all together and won’t be straight up with the family members.”

Debra said she will spend the next two weeks in quarantine before she returns to work. 22News contacted the office of Health and Human Services for comment, we’ll let you know when we hear back.

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