Statement released regarding positive COVID-19 cases at Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services has released updated information regarding Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke after positive COVID-19 cases were reported in the facility.

Massachusetts Department of Veterans spokesman Anthony Preston told 22News, the Soldiers’ Home has met all health care standards and at no time did the facility receive an Immediate Jeopardy notice from VA.

Residents along with staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Following CDC guidelines, residents have been isolated and employees were advised to quarantine until they are asymptomatic. Local and state public health officials were notified and appropriate public health measures were taken.

Preston reassures any resident who shows symptoms for COVID-19 is tested and family members of those residents are contacted by staff to notify them of the test as well as the results.

Director of Communications and Volunteer Programs of Soldiers Home in Holyoke Debra Foley released the following statement to 22News:

The Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke continues to fulfill its commitment to the safety and well-being of its resident Veterans while supporting the health and safety of our staff during this unprecedented public health crisis – including meeting all federal and state health standards.

The Soldiers’ Home will continue to operate under the Department of Public Health, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Guidance, and the Department of Veteran Affairs. In addition to following CDC cleaning guidelines, Preston said more measures have been taken which include:

  • All visitors restricted to the facility.     
  • Taking the temperature of employees as they enter the building.
  • Adding hand sanitation stations for employees as they enter the building and throughout the facility.
  • Disinfecting and treating high touch areas throughout the day.
  • Every employee receives Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as they enter the facility.
  • Taking daily temperatures of the residents.
  • Posting signage on proper hand hygiene and how to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like the flu and COVID-19.
  • Restricting movement of residents in the Long Term Care Facility and the Independent Living Facility.
  • Sending regular communications to update veterans, families and staff on current guidance for infection control and prevention.

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