Feds to aid vets in hard-hit Massachusetts nursing homes

The Soldiers' Home in Holyoke. Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe

BOSTON (AP) — Federal officials are providing aid to veterans at Massachusetts nursing homes that have been hard-hit in the coronavirus pandemic.

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

He didn’t elaborate or name which facilities would receive the aid.

Spokespersons for the agency at the state Executive Office of Health and Human Services didn’t respond to emails seeking comment Monday.

More than 20 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 17 of the residents died from COVID-19 and nearly 60 other residents and 20 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The superintendent of the state-run facility failed to disclose the deaths for days and has been replaced by Gov.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.

At least three residents also died at the Chelsea Solider’s Home, and residents are being transferred from that facility.

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


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