Eleven veterans have died at a soldiers’ home in Holyoke, Mass., where a COVID-19 outbreak is now threatening even more residents and staff. At least five of the people who died have tested positive for COVID-19; other tests are still pending in the case, which Gov. Charlie Baker calls “a shuddering loss for us all.”
An additional 11 veterans and five staff members have also tested positive, raising the facility’s overall total to more than 20 confirmed cases. More tests are under way to determine the scope of exposure to the coronavirus.
The Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke’s superintendent, Bennett Walsh, was placed on administrative leave Monday, according to member station WBUR.
The station also reports that Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse says the veterans’ facility did not initially tell city and state officials that residents had died last week. On Tuesday, Morse said it wasn’t until over the weekend, when he began to get anonymous tips, that the gravity of the situation became clear.