New England

25 Veterans Dead at Holyoke Soldiers' Home; 2 Other Mass. Nursing Homes to Get Federal Assistance

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie said federal officials would help the state in its efforts to protect veterans at two nursing homes

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Federal officials are delivering help to two private nursing homes in Massachusetts.

The federal Department of Veterans Affairs will provide the assistance, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie said Sunday at a White House briefing.

A spokeswoman for the department said Monday that at the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, one team of VA nurses and certified nursing assistants has been deployed to the Hunt Nursing Home in Danvers and another team has been deployed to the Charlwell Nursing Home in Norwood.

A total of 12 VA staffers have been deployed.

Also Monday, state officials said 25 residents have died at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home in recent days in one of the deadliest outbreaks of the virus in a veteran's home in the nation.

State health officials have confirmed 18 of the residents tested positive for COVID-19. Another 59 residents and 31 staffers have tested positive.

The superintendent of the state-run facility failed to disclose the deaths for days and has been replaced by Gov. Charlie Baker's administration, which also brought in the state National Guard and launched an investigation into the deaths.

Three residents also died at the Chelsea Solider's Home. Fourteen residents and seven staff members have also tested positive.

The two facilities are state-run and licensed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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