CHELSEA, MASS. (WHDH) – A second resident at the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home who contracted the coronavirus has died, Gov. Charlie Baker confirmed Wednesday. The deaths come after 13 people died at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home — at least six of which have been linked to the deadly virus.
Baker announced the second death while providing an update on the state’s coronavirus response from the DCU Center in Worcester, which is being transformed into a makeshift hospital.
The first death was reported on Monday and the second death was reported on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, according to Baker.
“They followed all the rules and protocols that they are supposed to follow with respect to operating an eldercare facility in a time of COVID-19 and reporting on critical incidents when they occur,” Baker told reporters.
A spokesperson for the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home confirmed that as of Tuesday afternoon, four residents, including the first reported victim, and five staff members have been tested for COVID-19.
Two residents tested positive and one of them has died, the spokesperson continued. A third resident tested negative and one test result is still pending.
As for the staff members, two tested positive, one tested negative, and two test results are still pending.
“Protecting the health of our veteran residents, and our staff, is the single most important part of the work of the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home,” the healthcare complex said in a statement. “COVID-19 cases in the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home are being isolated, closely monitored, and tracked daily, and we are deeply saddened to report today that a resident of our community died of this infection.”
The state-run facility was established in 1882. It offers residential and longterm care for Bay State veterans.
A dedicated ward for veterans who have tested positive for the virus has since been established. All other veterans have been instructed to self-quarantine. A screening tent was also put up for staffers, who are not permitted to enter the facility without personal protective equipment.
The Holyoke Soldiers’ Home placed its superintendent on leave following the deaths of 13 residents.
Public health officials say 10 other veterans and seven staff members have tested positive for the virus at the Holyoke facility.
Gov. Charles Baker said in a press conference Tuesday that state officials would “get to the bottom” of these deaths.
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