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Vaccinations continue at Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke

  • Signs, flags, flowers and wreaths are placed at the entrance to the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, as seen in April 2020 following a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 1/22/2021 3:10:09 PM

HOLYOKE — CVS workers were at the Soldiers’ Home on Tuesday administering a second dose of COVID-19 vaccines to veterans and staff, as well as initial doses to those who were not vaccinated in a first round in late December, according to the state Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

Meanwhile, the last transfer of veteran residents from Holyoke Medical Center to the Soldiers’ Home was scheduled for Wednesday when four veterans were to return to the facility in a project known as Bring’em Home. Last April, 40 residents of the Soldiers’ Home had been transferred to the medical center amid a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility that contributed to the deaths of 77 veteran residents.

As of Tuesday, 113 veteran residents were on site and zero of them were positive with the virus, though 57 residents have a pending test, according to state health officials. No veteran residents have refused testing, they said. One staff member tested positive in the most recent round of testing. The home continues mandatory testing for all staff and residents twice a week.

State health officials said that as of Tuesday, 111 veteran residents and 153 staff members had received both doses of the vaccine while six veterans and 87 staff members received their first dose. The vaccinations are voluntary though state health officials are encouraging everyone at the home to get vaccinated. Vaccinations are also ongoing at the Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea.

CVS is scheduled to return to both homes for a third and final vaccination clinic on Feb. 9, according to the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

Reach Dan Crowley at dcrowley@gazettenet.com.

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