HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – After months of residing at Holyoke Medical Center following a devastating COVID-19 outbreak, veteran residents are returning to the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.
Veteran advocate, John Paradis of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Coalition said they have a long road ahead of them.
“Make sure that we have the best state of the art facility for our veterans,” said Paradis. “I think our number one priority is working with the state and with the staff of the soldiers’ home and make sure all the protocols are put into place for the soldier’s returning back to the home and are in a safe environment as possible.”
Paradis also told 22News that the coalition is strongly encouraging staff to accept the COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to keep everyone safe moving forward. According to a representative for the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, the veteran residents will be returning back to the home over the next two weeks.
An initiative has been in place to ensure infection control standards are met throughout the facility. That includes mandatory high-frequency testing for all staff and residents and daily symptom checking.
Veterans will receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on January 19. Combined So far more than 280 veterans and staff have been vaccinated.
The coalition is planning to meet with several lawmakers this week to ensure the improvements are made to the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.