HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- State officials report that 13 residents at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home have died.

The state's Executive Office of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that of those 13 people:

  • Six of those people tested positive for COVID-19
  • Five people are pending test results
  • One came back negative
  • One is unknown

In addition, state officials noted that:

  • 10 veteran residents have tested positive for COVID-19
  • 25 veteran residents pending test results
  • 7 staff tested positive

A department spokesperson said in a statement:

“As soon as the Executive Office of Health and Human Services learned of the extent of the COVID-19 outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, it took immediate action, including instituting a leadership change and implementing a clinical command structure to bring rigor and clinical expertise to support the residents and staff. This new clinical command structure is intently focused on controlling the outbreak of the virus is under the direction of Administrator Val Liptak, RN CEO of Western Massachusetts Hospital, and is staffed with experts in clinical operations, infectious disease control, and epidemiology. 

The Commonwealth is making all resources available to the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home leadership team, including bringing in support from trained medical National Guard members. We will continue to take action to protect the health and safety of the veteran residents, and we will provide updates on the precautions being taken and the impact on residents.”

The state added that they are working with families to meet the emotional and social needs of the Soldiers' Home residents through alternative communication methods, including telephone calls, video chat, social media, and community outreach.

A family hotline and email address has been established to help answer questions and provide support.  Social workers will also be available for veteran-specific questions for familes.

The hotline number is: (413) 552-4764 and is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The email inbox is CommunicationsMailbox-HLY@Mass.gov.

Western Mass News continues to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.

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