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COVID-19 outbreak infects 14 at Chelsea Soldiers Home

The front entrance to the Chelsea Soldiers Home’s Lawrence F. Quigley Memorial Hospital.Matthew J. Lee

Officials on Thursday reported 14 new COVID-19 cases among residents of the independent living facility at the state-run Chelsea Soldiers Home, where an outbreak early in the pandemic killed at least 31 residents.

The veterans who tested positive have jobs or otherwise go out into the community routinely, and they are all now self-isolating, the state Department of Veterans’ Services said.

“Impacted residents are mildly symptomatic, are safely self-isolating, and following all guidelines from the Center for Disease [Control] and Prevention and the Department of Public Health,” the department said in a statement. “Leadership and staff continue to prioritize resident and staff health and safety and are adhering to infection control protocols and maintaining best practices for the safety of veteran residents and staff, and have increased regular surveillance testing.”


Officials said 99 percent of the veterans living independently on the campus are vaccinated and 90 percent have received a booster shot, 99 percent of long-term-care residents are both vaccinated and boosted, and all staff members have been vaccinated and given a booster.

The home held vaccine clinics on Wednesday and Thursday for staff members and residents, and there will be more vaccination clinics offered soon, while routine testing has been increased to three times a week, the department said.

The city of Chelsea has had 69 confirmed COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days, according to state data released Thursday.

The city has an average daily incidence rate for the virus of 13.7, the lowest in Suffolk County. Boston has an average daily incidence rate of 39.9, data show.

Officials at Governor Charlie Baker’s office and the state Department of Public Health deferred comment on the outbreak to the state Department of Health and Human Services, which provided the same statement provided by the Department of Veterans’ Services.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him @jeremycfox.