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47 veterans now dead, increased coronavirus infections reported at Holyoke Soldiers’ Home

This May 2018 file photo shows an aerial view of the Holyoke Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, Mass. The superintendent of the veteran's home was removed from his duties Monday, March 30, 2020 after several residents died, including some who had tested positive for COVID-19 and others whose results are pending. (Patrick Johnson / The Republican/TNS)

The death toll for veterans at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke infected with COVID-19 has risen to at least 47, with three more dying since Thursday.

Brooke Karanovich, spokesperson for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, released results indicating at least 47 residents of the Cherry Street home have died from COVID-19 as of Friday afternoon and another 92 are infected by the coronavirus. A total of 81 staff members have tested positive for the virus, while 73 veterans tested negative.

Additional staff and management personnel are being brought into the home, Karanovich said, including nursing executives for training and development, monitoring infection control procedures, staffing and quality improvement. A facilities expert started Friday as interim safety and operations director.

New shipments of personal protective equipment (PPE) have arrived at the home, including 50,00 surgical masks and 3,000 gowns from the state Department of Public Health.

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