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Holyoke Soldiers' Home temporarily bars visitors after resident tests positive for the coronavirus

Holyoke Soldiers' Home temporarily bars visitors after
resident tests positive for the coronavirus 1

The Holyoke Soldiers’ Home has temporarily suspended all visitation at the facility after a veteran resident who had clinically recovered from COVID-19 again tested positive for the coronavirus Monday.

The resident, upon experiencing COVID-like symptoms, was proactively brought to a hospital, where they were tested for the virus, a state Executive Office of Health and Human Services spokesperson said.

The Soldiers’ Home has been putting protocols in place for clinically recovered residents, who can test positive even after they are deemed clinically recovered, according to the spokesperson’s statement.

“The Home is immediately taking necessary precautions and is performing full-house testing with support from the Massachusetts National Guard, and temporarily suspending all visitation,” the statement says.

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Individuals at the home are determined to have recovered from the illness based off guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Onsite testing is carried out every two weeks at the facility, and residents are immediately retested if they show any COVID-like symptoms.

The Soldiers’ Home was a hotspot of cases earlier this year, and 76 resident coronavirus-related deaths were recorded.

Superintendent Bennett Walsh was placed on administrative leave on March 30.

An independent investigation into how the home handled the outbreak found that “substantial errors and failures” made by leadership “likely contributed” to the deaths.

Earlier this month, the family of a Korean War veteran who died during the outbreak filed a $176 million federal lawsuit against Walsh and four other former officials.


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