Holyoke Soldiers’ Home suspends visitation after veteran tests positive for COVID-19 again

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Visitation at Holyoke Soldiers’ Home has been suspended due to a veteran resident who recently tested positive for the coronavirus again.

Holyoke Soldiers’ Home spokesperson Brooke Karanovich told 22News on Monday, a veteran resident who clinically recovered from COVID-19 experienced symptoms of the virus and was taken to a hospital where they later revealed the resident tested positive.

The resident lived on a unit dedicated for clinically recovered individuals. Currently, everyone living on that floor is being quarantined until further notice. Communal spaces are also closed and regular onsite testing is being conducted every two weeks. With support from the Massachusetts National Guard, full-house testing will be done this week.

Karanovich says the home has been implementing protocols for clinically recovered individuals who may test positive even after they are clinically recovered. At this time, visitation has been suspended to ensure the safety of all families, residents, and staff.

Letters were mailed home to families informing them on what happened.

22News spoke with a daughter of a veteran resident who also had recovered from COVID-19. Based on what doctors told her, she didn’t think her dad would be at risk right now of contracting the virus.

“When my father recovered Dr. Clinton, who is relieved of his job at the Soldiers’ Home, said my father is free and he would be immune at least a year. So this is like a shot in the eyes getting this news today.”

Susan Regensburger
Picture of Veteran John J MacKay and daughter, Susan M Regensburger last year on 99 birthday. (Credit: Susan Regensburger)

Latest COVID-19 update from Holyoke Soldiers’ Home as of July 24:

Current status of all residents:

  • 0 veterans are positive across the Home and those at Holyoke Medical Center
  • 82 veterans have recovered, meaning they previously tested positive and are now clinically recovered
  • 61 veterans are negative
  • 1 veteran has a pending test result
  • 1 veteran has refused testing

Resident locations:

  • 119 veterans are onsite
  • 26 veterans are offsite 
  • 25 veterans are at a dedicated skilled nursing unit at Holyoke Medical Center
  • 1 veterans are receiving acute care offsite

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