BOSTON (AP) — The superintendent of a Massachusetts veterans' home has been placed on administrative leave after 11 residents died, including at least five who had tested positive for the coronavirus and another five whose results are pending.
Bennett Walsh, who has been superintendent of the Holyoke Soldiers Home since 2016, was placed on leave Monday, according to a statement from state Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Dan Tsai.
Eleven other veterans and five staff have tested positive for the virus, and 25 veterans are awaiting test results.
The home has a 247-bed long-term care nursing facility and a 30-room residence for veterans who need less-intensive care, according to its website.
Another James Taylor gift
Singer James Taylor and his wife, Kim, have donated $350,000 to a hospital near their Massachusetts home to support the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The gift to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield announced Monday comes a week after the couple donated $1 million to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston to battle COVID-19.
“In this time of great uncertainty and dire threat due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all called upon to support our heroic health care providers," Taylor said in a statement. “Their contribution and sacrifice cannot be over-stated.”
The chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party wants to cancel the party convention scheduled for May 30 because of the threat from the coronavirus.
Chairman Gus Bickford has asked the party’s state committee to cancel the convention. The committee is scheduled to meet remotely on Saturday.
The decision is supported by the two top candidates in a race for a seat in the U.S. Senate, incumbent Edward Markey and challenger U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III.
Kennedy and Markey agreed that Markey would be declared the winner of the convention and Kennedy would make the ballot for the November election.
By the numbers
The number of people in Massachusetts who have died from COVID-19 was 55 as of Monday, according to the state Department of Health. More than 5,700 residents have tested positive for the disease.
Nearly 42,800 have been tested, and more than 450 have been hospitalized.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.