No Visitation at Holyoke Soldiers' Home After Resident Gets Coronavirus Again

A resident who had clinically recovered from COVID-19 tested positive again, officials said

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The beleaguered Holyoke Soldiers' Home is suspending all visitation after a resident who had clinically recovered from the coronavirus tested positive again Monday, according to the state's health and human services agency.

The resident, a veteran, was taken to a hospital after showing coronavirus symptoms and tested positive for the disease, according to the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

The patient had been living in a unit dedicated for people who are considered clinically recovered. Everyone in the unit is now under quarantine.

The soldiers' home has been implementing protocols for patients who recover but may test positive again, according to the EOHHS. The facility is now administering onsite testing for residents and staff with help from the Massachusetts National Guard.

Onsite testing is currently being conducted every two weeks, according to EOHHS, and residents are "closely monitored" for symptoms on a regular basis. Communal spaces are closed at the Home.

The new positive case comes after a scathing report of the facility released in June found that its leadership team made "substantial errors" in responding to the outbreak that resulted in the deaths of at least 76 veterans and the infection of an additional 84 veterans and over 80 staff members.

After details of the "utterly baffling decisions" that exacerbated the COVID-19 outbreak in the Home became public, Gov. Charlie Baker implemented reforms to improve operations.

The family of a soldier who died in the major coronavirus outbreak at Holyoke Soldiers' Home is also suing five officials who worked at the facility in federal court for alleged "deliberate indifference" in dealing with the spreading virus.

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