Fifteen employees at Holyoke Medical Center test positive for COVID-19

  • Holyoke Medical Center FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 10/28/2020 7:32:38 PM

HOLYOKE — Fifteen employees at Holyoke Medical Center have tested positive for COVID-19, infections that the hospital believes can be traced back to workers eating a meal together in a break room.

About two weeks ago, a cluster of employees began showing symptoms of COVID-19, hospital spokeswoman Rebecca MacGregor wrote in an email.

The hospital tested 211 employees for the virus related to this cluster, MacGregor said, and 15 tested positive for the disease.

Free testing was also offered to patients associated with the cluster, with none testing positive, MacGregor said, adding that she did not know exactly how many patients were tested.

Ten of the employees who tested positive for the disease were exclusively connected to the hospital’s emergency department, she said.

All of the sick employees are doing well, MacGregor said, and at least two were medically cleared to return to work this week. Capacity limits have now been placed on all break rooms. In regard to a question about the frequency of employee COVID-19 testing, MacGregor said that Holyoke Medical Center follows state Department of Public Health guidelines.

“We would like to stress that Holyoke Medical Center is continuing to safely provide the high-quality care our community expects,” MacGregor said. “People should continue to feel comfortable choosing Holyoke Medical Center for their care.”

Holyoke Medical Center, at 575 Beech St., is a 198-bed hospital with more than 1,300 employees.

Michael Connors can be reached at

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