Holyoke Soldiers’ Home deaths rise to 47; 38 COVID-19 positive

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass (WWLP) – The death toll at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home has increased every day this week, including Wednesday.

The State’s Office of Health and Human Services announced that three more veterans at the Holyoke Soldiers Home have passed away. As of Wednesday, 47 veterans have died, with 38 of those having tested positive for COVID-19.

Overall, 99 veterans have tested positive; that’s about 56 percent of all veterans there, and about 36 percent of all staff members at the home have also tested positive. Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse continues to have regular conversations with state officials about how the facility is caring for veterans and the ongoing investigations there.

“To see now the numbers in the 40s its just really difficult for all of us in the community to swallow. I have faith that the investigation will corroborate with the fact as to what went wrong with communication with state officials, the administration and the facility itself,” Morse said.

Mayor Morse also pointed out that in Superintendent Bennet Walsh’s most recent statement defending their actions, he said they communicated to state officials about the first deaths, but not the city.

Morse said the Board of Health was informed that the virus was spreading, only three days before the deaths were announced. At this point, all veterans have been tested for COVID-19, but there is still a need for additional nurses at the Soldiers’ Home.

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