Holyoke Soldiers’ Home veteran dies at hospital after positive COVID test, first since spring

A resident of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, who had been living in a dedicated skilled nursing unit at Holyoke Medical Center since April, died last week, state officials said.
The veteran, who tested positive for COVID-19 in early December, is the first resident from the soldiers’ home to be felled by the virus since the spring.
No other residents are currently positive for the virus, according to the state’s weekly report on the facility. Vaccinations for veterans residing at the Holyoke Medical Center began Dec. 17, and are expected to begin at the Holyoke and Chelsea soldiers’ homes next week.
Seventy-six veterans died between March 25 and June 12 as the coronavirus swept through the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, infecting dozens more residents and staff.
An independent investigation into the handling of the outbreak by former federal prosecutor Mark W. Pearlstein — ordered by Gov. Charlie Baker — found the facility’s leadership made “substantial errors” in veterans’ care that “likely contributed to the death toll.”
Former Superintendent Bennett Walsh and former medical director Dr. David Clinton were arraigned last month on criminal neglect charges, and not guilty pleas were entered on their behalf.

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