(CNN)Two employees of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home in Massachusetts told CNN they felt the home was woefully unprepared for a coronavirus outbreak in part due to long-standing systemic issues like short staffing.Additionally, according to the employees and a union representative, a lack of personal protective equipment and the home’s recent decision to consolidate veterans into tighter quarters likely enhanced the outbreak at the facility.One nurse, speaking on the condition of anonymity since they are not authorized to speak to the press, said the home has been short staffed for about two years.Emails shared with CNN between union officials and the state reflect concerns by the union about staffing levels over the past few years. Cory Bombredi, an internal organizer for SEIU Local 888, which represents 270 members of the home’s staff, said that according to his data the facility has been operating at 80% staffing levels for the past few years. Within the past two years, Bombredi said that the facility had fired 70 certified nurse’s assistants and licensed practical nurses.”They’ve gone through all the available workforce” in the western Massachusetts region, Bombredi said. Emails and meeting agendas from both 2019 and earlier this year show repeated concerns expressed by


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