Nearly 70 Dead in Coronavirus Outbreak at Massachusetts Veterans Home

Nearly 70 residents sickened with the coronavirus have died at a Massachusetts home for aging veterans.

State and federal officials are trying to figure out what went wrong in the deadliest known outbreak at a long-term care facility in the U.S.

While the death toll at the state-run Holyoke Soldiers’ Home continues to climb, federal officials are investigating whether residents were denied proper medical care.

The state’s top prosecutor is deciding whether to bring legal action.

Officials said Tuesday that 68 veteran residents who tested positive for the virus have died.

Staffing problems that plagued the home for years contributed to the virus spreading like wildfire, said Joan Miller, a nurse at the home.

Because staffing was so tight, workers from one unit were constantly moving to other units to help out — and bringing their germs with them, she said.

At one point, a unit was shut down because there wasn’t enough staff to operate it, and those veterans were moved into close quarters in other parts of the building, Miller said.

The crisis, she says, was exacerbated by the fact that nurses did not have proper personal protective equipment at the beginning of the outbreak.

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