Transcript for At least 76 died at veteran’s home from coronavirus outbreak
And we have been reporting here on homes for seniors and veterans and tonight, the horrific new report just out involving the holy oak soldiers home in Massachusetts, where 97 veterans have died since just March. Investigators now calling it a tragic failure to protect the soldiers. Eva pilgrim is in Massachusetts. Reporter: Tonight, the first investigation into the devastating covid outbreak at the Holyoke soldiers' home found baffling decisions and substantial error, lead by a superintendent who was not qualified to manage the facility. 76 veterans died during the outbreak. The subject matter and details of this report are nothing short of gut-wrenching. Reporter: Independent investigators spelling out decisions they called "Utterly baffling from an infection-control perspective." The worst? A move to consolidate 40 veterans from two locked dementia units into one space designed to only hold 25, mixing the infected with those who showed no symptoms. Investigators quote staff saying that's "When hell broke loose," triggering "Total pandemonium." An administrator sent in to address the crisis described the unit as resembling a war zone, with some veterans clothed, some unclothed, and some obviously in the process of dying from covid-19." Families reacting in horror. It was really hard to read the report. Read the words and have the visual of the veterans. Reporter: The report detailing other failures. Not isolating suspected covid positive patients, delays in testing and closing common areas and "Complete mayhem" with record-keeping. The superintendent of the home, Bennett Walsh, was placed on paid leave at the end of March. The secretary of the Massachusetts department of veterans services, Francisco urena, resigned last night, just before the report's release. Tonight, Susan Kenney remembering her father, chuck Lowell, one of the veterans who died from covid. My father's birthday was yesterday and I fully believe he could have been here for that. Had this not happened. Reporter: And this was the first of four investigations. The governor saying today that he expects that ex-superintendent who was put on leave will eventually be removed permanently. As of today, there were no covid positive cases in the home. David? Thinking about all of those families tonight. Eva, thank you.
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