Rep. Velis: Something went wrong at Soldiers’ Home, we need to figure out what happened

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – There has been a lot of questions around the timeline of the coronavirus cases found at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke. 

The governor and local lawmakers both say they want to get to the bottom of what happened and find out why it took more than 10 deaths to release certain information. 

The governor and HHS Secretary Marylou Sudders said their short-term priority is to manage the spread of coronavirus at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke. 

Recent data shows that 256 residents currently reside at the Holyoke facility, including 232 residents in long-term care. So far 15 deaths have been confirmed, and at least six of them were due to COVID-19. 

“This cannot happen,” said Rep. John Velis. “Something went wrong, we need to figure out what happened and ensure that it never happens again.” 

On Wednesday, the state’s first mobile testing unit was deployed in Holyoke to test every single resident and staff. Personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies will be made available in the facility to prevent community spread. 

Gov. Baker called the 15 deaths at the Soldiers Home in Holyoke a gutwrenching loss. He is asking state health officials to keep a close eye on the situation. 

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