Families who lost loved ones to COVID-19 at Holyoke Soldiers’ Home testify before legislative committee in second hearing

Hampden County

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HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – There will be a second hearing Thursday afternoon to hear from family members who lost loved ones due to the COVID-19 outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.

The commission met Tuesday for the first time to hear the heartbreaking stories from family members who lost loved ones during the outbreak and is holding a second virtual hearing Thursday at Noon.

A joint legislative commission has been created to investigate the deadly COVID-19 outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home that killed 76 veterans after they contracted the virus. Some of the members include local State Senators James Welch and John Velis and Representative Joe Wagner.

According to the legislative commission, they are encouraging as many family members as possible to testify either in person, remotely, or to provide written testimony, as this will be their first opportunity to do so in a public forum.

Family members of both our heroic Veterans that have succumbed to COVID-19 and to those of our surviving residents at the Holyoke Soldiers Home will be first priority.

The Home’s Former Superintendent Bennett Walsh and former medical director Dr. David Clinton have been charged with criminal neglect for their alleged parts in worsening the COVID-19 crisis at the facility, as part of another investigation by Attorney General Maura Healey. They are expected to be in court on November 5th.

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