Thirteen people at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home home have died, and at least six of those deaths have been confirmed to be from COVID-19, Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday. “This episode is a gut-wrenching loss that is nothing short of devastating to all of us and our hearts go out to the family and loved ones and staff who have been so horribly impacted by this series of events,” Baker said.Of the remaining seven deaths, five COVID-19 tests are pending, one returned negative and one person’s testing status was unknown. Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse said Tuesday said the first deaths occurred last Wednesday, but officials at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home failed to disclose the deaths until Sunday. Morse said he’d called Bennett Walsh, the facility’s then-superintendent, directly after receiving an anonymous complaint.“I was incredibly disappointed,” Morse said. “There was a clear lack of urgency and we were repeatedly told that these were folks with underlying health conditions. That’s certainly not an excuse for not isolating the folks that did test positive.”The mayor also said he was concerned about the lack of urgency from the state Secretary of Veterans’ Services Francisco Ureña, who Morse said also joined in Sunday’s call at one point.“A combination of lack of transparency, lack of communication and just mismanagement has led to the decisions that have been made by the state,” he said.Walsh and Urena didn’t respond to calls and emails seeking comment.Walsh was placed on leave Monday. Val Liptak, CEO of Western Massachusetts Hospital, was tapped to administer the facility.The state National Guard has been deployed to assist in the response, and every resident and staffer at the facility has been tested for the virus, Morse said Tuesday.The home has about 250 long term care beds and a separate 30-room residence for veterans who need less-intensive care. It was established in 1952.

Thirteen people at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home home have died, and at least six of those deaths have been confirmed to be from COVID-19, Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday.

“This episode is a gut-wrenching loss that is nothing short of devastating to all of us and our hearts go out to the family and loved ones and staff who have been so horribly impacted by this series of events,” Baker said.

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Of the remaining seven deaths, five COVID-19 tests are pending, one returned negative and one person’s testing status was unknown.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse said Tuesday said the first deaths occurred last Wednesday, but officials at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home failed to disclose the deaths until Sunday. Morse said he’d called Bennett Walsh, the facility’s then-superintendent, directly after receiving an anonymous complaint.

“I was incredibly disappointed,” Morse said. “There was a clear lack of urgency and we were repeatedly told that these were folks with underlying health conditions. That’s certainly not an excuse for not isolating the folks that did test positive.”

The mayor also said he was concerned about the lack of urgency from the state Secretary of Veterans’ Services Francisco Ureña, who Morse said also joined in Sunday’s call at one point.

“A combination of lack of transparency, lack of communication and just mismanagement has led to the decisions that have been made by the state,” he said.

Walsh and Urena didn’t respond to calls and emails seeking comment.

Walsh was placed on leave Monday. Val Liptak, CEO of Western Massachusetts Hospital, was tapped to administer the facility.

The state National Guard has been deployed to assist in the response, and every resident and staffer at the facility has been tested for the virus, Morse said Tuesday.

The home has about 250 long term care beds and a separate 30-room residence for veterans who need less-intensive care. It was established in 1952.

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