By Cheryl Fiandaca


CHELSEA (CBS) — With coronavirus testing underway at the Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea, I-Team sources say there are now more than a dozen positive cases. The state says it is seeing pockets of clusters of COVID-19 in nursing homes and soldiers’ homes around the state.

“We’ve identified COVID clusters in about 78 facilities, and as you know, as COVID-19 continues to evolve, that number will change across nursing homes, rest homes, soldiers’ homes and assisted living residencies,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders.

Two residents of the state-run Chelsea Soldiers’ Home have died of the coronavirus, and the situation is worse at a Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke where 18 have died. The state has tested everyone in that facility and now confirms 30 positive cases.

But in Chelsea, Veterans’ Affairs is only testing those who had contact with an infected person or has symptoms, which has some families concerned.

The state says it is following federal guidelines and only testing residents and staff if they had close contact with an infected person or have symptoms themselves. Steve Connor, a veterans’ advocate, thinks everyone should be tested.

“I hope the state is really looking hard at getting everybody up there tested so that they know who can spread it and get everyone isolated and taken care of,” he said.

I-Team sources say more than two dozen others have been tested and are awaiting results.

The state says it has set up quarantine units in both of the Soldiers’ Homes and is also checking workers for signs of illness before they go into the buildings.

Cheryl Fiandaca

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