I-Team: Daughter of Soldiers’ Home veteran with COVID-19 says there is lack of communication

I-Team

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A grim warning from state officials, the numbers of infected residents and deaths will continue to increase over the next coming days. 

As of Friday, the death toll stands at 21. 22News talked once again with a Ludlow woman whose been worried about her father who lives at the Soldiers’ Home. She finally heard back. 

“I had to make the phone call several times into the hotline several times in order to get the information,” said Beth LaPointe of Ludlow. 

After multiple phone calls on the daily, for more than a week, LaPointe got the news she was dreading. Her 81-year old father tested positive for COVID-19. She told the 22News I-Team, his doctor said her father is doing well – despite the situation. 

DON: Is he in his own room? Like what does that look like?  

BETH: We don’t know that.  That’s part of the anxiety of the whole thing. 

DON: So, you haven’t even talked to your father? 

BETH: No, I haven’t talked to my father in four or five days. 

Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said they’ve split the veterans into separate units, those who’ve tested positive and those who’ve tested negative. Also, as many as 40 negative residents have been moved to Holyoke Medical Center, where the hospital converted the birthing and outpatient cardiovascular centers. 

The 22News I-Team also captured this video of veterans of the assisted living facility of the Soldiers’ Home, lining up to be tested, but not following social distancing CDC guidelines. 

Senator Eric Lesser said, “We need explanations about what happened and why the spread was allowed to continue in that way for as long as it did, there’s quite a lot of unanswered questions.” 

Sudders added, “The numbers of infected residents and deaths will, unfortunately, continue to increase over the next coming days. 

DON: What is like when you’re watching on the news and you’re hearing the death toll going up like it has over the past couple of days? 

BETH: It’s completely heart breaking. 

If you have a relative in the Soldiers’ Home that you would like to check on, you can call the hotline service at 413-552-4764. The phones are operated Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

And on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

When the 22News I-Team called the number, we received a recording directing us to leave a message. 

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