Special Investigator To Review Conditions At Holyoke Soldiers' Home; State Preparing Field Hospital At Worcester's DCU Center

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Governor Charlie Baker has appointed a special investigator to look into possible lapses in care and oversight at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home.

Two more veterans from that facility have died as of Wednesday, bringing the total number of deaths among the facility's residents in recent days to 15. At least six of them are confirmed to have had COVID-19. Other test results are pending, and at least 18 additional residents and staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The governor appointed attorney Mark Pearlstein, a former federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston, to investigate conditions at the home and how the facility's COVID-19 response was managed.

Meanwhile, the Chelsea Soldiers' Home, the sister facility to the Holyoke facility, said today that two residents have died as a result of COVID-19. A handful of other residents and staff members have tested positive.

Wednesday afternoon the state Department of Public Health announced 33 new deaths connected to COVID-19 complications, bringing the state total to 122. Those who died ranged in age from their 30s to 100s; about half of them were known to have had pre-existing medical conditions.

Baker toured a field hospital the state is in the process of setting up at the DCU Center in Worcester. It will be a step-down facility, meant to take the pressure off of hospitals that will likely see a strain on their capacity with the anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks.

WBUR's Deborah Becker spoke with All Things Considered host Lisa Mullins about the day's developments.

This segment aired on April 1, 2020.

Headshot of Lisa Mullins

Lisa Mullins Host, All Things Considered
Lisa Mullins is the voice of WBUR’s All Things Considered. She anchors the program, conducts interviews and reports from the field.


Headshot of Deborah Becker

Deborah Becker Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.


Headshot of Lynn Jolicoeur

Lynn Jolicoeur Producer/Reporter
Lynn Jolicoeur is the field producer for WBUR's All Things Considered. She also reports for the station's various local news broadcasts.



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