CHELSEA (CBS/AP) — Massachusetts’ two state-run soldiers’ homes are resuming visits this week after they became hot spots for the coronavirus.
The Chelsea Soldiers’ Home began allowing visits outdoors starting Monday while the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home will begin allowing them Tuesday.
It had been 100 days since Karren Leffler and her sister last saw their father. George Deserderio, 95, has been in quarantine since the virus began.
So far, the facility has had 41 deaths, with 31 related to coronavirus. Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins in investigating the outbreak.
“I don’t care if they had two weeks to live. If they died of COVID-19 and died two weeks prior to what they were suppose to that’s a robbery of a life as far as I’m concerned,” Rollins said.
John Griffin’s father died of COVID-19. Griffin said more should have been done to protect residents who had already survived so much.
“Being a veteran, I just thought he survived so much and this is what he succumbed to. They weren’t doing their job protecting him,” said Griffin.
For Rollins, honoring and remember who the men were and the sacrifice they made is all part of what is driving the investigation.
“It’s not a disparagement of the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home in any way. But if there was negligence these men and their families deserve to know that,” she said. “We have an exceptional Massachusetts State Police Unit investigating the cases, including four combat veterans in that unit. It is personal to them and honestly it is personal to me as the daughter of a Vietnam war veteran myself.”
Rollins said the investigation remains active and ongoing.
As of Monday, the state says three dozen workers and six residents have tested positive for COVID-19.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)