Three more residents at a Massachusetts veterans' nursing home have died amid the coronavirus outbreak, bringing the total of deaths there to 18, officials said Thursday.
Two-thirds of the people who have died at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, according to the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services. Three others have pending tests, two tested negative and one is unknown.
The deaths and related coronavirus outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home are now under an investigation ordered by Gov. Charlie Baker, who has often visited the site.
As of Thursday, 23 residents at the Holyoke facility have tested positive for COVID-19, along with 7 staff members.
At the Chelsea Soldiers' Home, no new deaths have been reported since the two announced Wednesday.
"This is a critical health situation for our veterans, and the Commonwealth will continue to make all resources available to the leadership of the Holyoke and Chelsea Soldiers' Homes to contain the spread of the virus. We have tested all the residents of the Holyoke Soldiers' Home and are testing all the staff, and will test all the residents and staff of the Chelsea Soldiers' Home," an Executive Office of Health and Human Services representative said in a statement.
The statement noted that the office is adding medical and infection control staff at the homes to ensure that staff has "the proper protective equipment to do their job safely."
Holyoke Soldiers' Home Superintendent Bennett Walsh has been on paid administrative leave from the facility since Monday. On Wednesday, Baker said an independent lawyer, Mark Pearlstein, had been hired to investigate what went wrong.