HOLYOKE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The National Guard will be helping veterans at care facilities in Holyoke and Chelsea with virtually connecting to their loved ones as they remain on lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.
Holyoke Soldiers' Home is currently under multiple investigations for its handling of a coronavirus outbreak last month. As of Sunday, 57 veteran residents had died since the start of the pandemic, at least 48 have been attributed to the virus.
According to WWLP, the rest of the Holyoke residents have been tested for COVID-19; 91 tests came back positive, 74 were negative, four are pending. 81 employees have tested positive as well. All residents remain on lockdown inside the home.
On Monday April 20, a nonprofit that supports Massachusetts military families says it will be delivering 20 iPads to the Soldiers' Homes to help residents video chat with their loved ones.
"Military Friends Foundation purchased iPads with funds from their COVID-19 Massachusetts Military Family Relief Fund for both veterans homes in Holyoke and Chelsea," the organization said in a statement. "The Massachusetts National Guard will assist residents and enable them to begin video calling their families on Monday."
The foundation said it worked in conjunction with the state VFW and western Massachusetts veterans services officers to obtain the iPads and get the residents set up with video calling features.
The MFF’s COVID-19 Massachusetts Military Family Relief Fund has already distributed more than $100,000 in funds to military veterans in the last few weeks.
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