Roseburg VA Building One

The Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center reports two of its staff members and five of its patients have active cases of COVID-19.

The patients have been screened and tested at the VA but are not inpatients.

Spokesperson Tim Parish said the VA can’t share information about the staff members with COVID-19, including whether or not they are care providers, due to privacy concerns.

But he said the cases don’t constitute an outbreak.

“Per CDC guidance and VA protocols, employees and patients exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms are immediately isolated to prevent potential spread to others,” he said.

VA facilities nationwide report active COVID-19 cases through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website. Each facility also provides the number of previous COVID-19 cases it’s had, labeling them “convalescent.”

These are defined as patients “tested or treated at a VA facility for known or probable COVID-19 who are either post-hospital discharge, or 14 days after their last positive test, whichever comes later.”

The number of convalescent cases at the Roseburg VA since the beginning of the pandemic totals 24, with three of those having been staff members.

None of the VA employees or patients is listed as having died from the illness.

The VA says the protocols it has put in place are working to prevent an outbreak, and the VA remains a safe place for veterans to seek care.

“Throughout this national emergency, Roseburg VA Health Care System has been laser focused on maintaining Veterans’ access to care while working to prevent the possibility of Veterans and employees contracting COVID-19,” Parish said in an email.

“No Veterans receiving direct inpatient care at an RVAHCS facility have contracted coronavirus due to extreme safety protocols that have protected our most vulnerable Veteran population,” Parish said.

The VA had reported in April that four members of its staff tested positive for COVID-19. One of these was nurse Jose Jimenez, who spent three months on a ventilator in a Portland hospital. Jimenez returned home in late July and is receiving pulmonary rehabilitation therapy.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(9) comments

Mike

Roseburg VA now has 7 employees and staff that have tested positive for coronavirus.

Mike

The Roseburg VA has reported 2 more cases since yesterday. They now have 34 total cases reported.

Mike

The Roseburg Veterans Affairs reported 1 more coronavirus case today, bring their total to 32.

https://www.accesstocare.va.gov/Healthcare/COVID19NationalSummary

Mike

The ONLY reason the Roseburg VA reported this workplace outbreak TODAY is because the Oregon Health Authority weekly report (below link) just came out this morning identifying Roseburg’s VA as a workplace outbreak with 6 employees having tested positive for coronavirus. The OHA report indicates the Roseburg VA has known for sure about this outbreak since September 18 (12 days ago). But in reality, they knew 1 – 2 weeks before that when patients were first tested after exhibiting symptoms. I conclude the Roseburg VA knew about its potential workplace outbreak for weeks and failed to notify their employees and veterans.

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Emerging%20Respitory%20Infections/COVID-19-Weekly-Report-2020-09-30-FINAL.pdf

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website currently reports a total of 6 employees and staff at Roseburg’s VA has had coronavirus and 25 veterans.

https://www.accesstocare.va.gov/Healthcare/COVID19NationalSummary

On August 21, Roseburg VA spokesman Tim Parish was quoted (below link) saying, “just seven Roseburg VA employees — 0.5% of its workforce — and nine veteran patients have been diagnosed with the disease.

https://www.nrtoday.com/news/veterans/defazio-roseburg-va-director-must-communicate-more-on-covid-19-other-issues-impacting-vets/article_15e5190d-73b6-5eea-985d-534570666e4a.html

How confident are you that Roseburg’s VA is being honest with you about Coronavirus?

st paddy

the va is not about how it works, but about how it looks.

dont make the va look bad

Mike

Yesterday, Douglas County Commissioner Chris Boice commented in the News-Review and repeatedly wrote that I’m a liar about coronavirus related allegations I have posed about him. I strive to be honest. Like everyone, I do make mistakes. When I do, I apologize or correct the record. The following is my response to Commissioner Boice with my backup information:

1. Pictures from a recent News-Review article show a maskless Commissioner Boice participating in a “Freedom” anti-mask rally conducted on the county courthouse lawn. I have criticized Commissioner Boice for being more than a participant in this rally opposed to coronavirus restrictions. Commissioner Boice responded by saying, “more lies“and “I was not even a planned participant of the rally. I did however, NOTICE a large gathering of freedom loving individuals.” Commissioner Boice would have everyone believe he didn’t know anything about the rally beforehand and just “noticed” it. This description is refuted by the rally organizers’ Facebook page (below link) that says, “We are calling on our governmental leaders… We want to let our Commissioners know that we stand behind them and encourage them to stand up and speak out on our behalf.” Do you believe Commissioners Boice just happened to “notice” the rally as he claims or do you believe he knew about and spearheaded the rally in opposition to coronavirus restrictions? You be the judge.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1652724951568419/?active_tab=discussion

2. While disputing his participation in the rally, Commissioner Boice yesterday claimed, “I did not encourage anyone to not wear a mask” at the rally. However, days before the rally, Commissioner Boice was interviewed by a radio station (audio link below) about increased coronavirus restrictions in Douglas County where he said, “Some folks don’t want to wear a mask…I COMMEND a lot of those folks.” On one hand, Commissioner Boice commends people for NOT wearing a mask yet, now that he is coming under increasing pressure for coronavirus cases and deaths in Douglas County, he wants us to believe just the opposite.

https://kqennewsradio.com/wp-content/uploads/IDC-8-26-20.mp3

3. Commissioner Boice claimed during his radio station interview that he would NOT enforce Governor Kate Brown’s increased coronavirus restrictions, stating; 1. The state contracted Douglas County to be the local Public Health Agency; 2. “We weren’t interested in enforcing state mandates…as a county, we AREN’T willing to enforce this mask thing” and; 3. “Its NEVER been the Sheriff’s role to enforce public health mandates.” Countering Commissioner Boice’s opinion, the U.S. Justice Department and Police Executive Research Forum addressed this specific issue in 2006, during the Bush Administration, in preparation for a potential epidemic and issued a 38 page document at the below link titled “Role of Law Enforcement in Public Health Emergencies.” The summary states, “If a pandemic influenza outbreak occurs in the United States, it is essential that governmental entities at all levels continue to provide essential public safety services and maintain public order. It is critical that all stakeholders in State and local law enforcement and public safety agencies, whose primary responsibility this is, be fully prepared to support public health efforts and to address the additional challenges they may face during such an outbreak.” It is my opinion, Commissioner Boice has risked the lives of Douglas County residents by making coronavirus a political issue rather than a health issue. His rally with maskless followers and Governor Recall booths exemplify this. Commissioner Boice choosing to resist coronavirus restrictions has and will probably continue to have deadly consequences.

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bja/214333.pdf

4. Also during his radio interview, Commissioner Boice claimed the Governor “wanted [Commissioners] to lead by example.” He said, “we’re doing a great job…Douglas County is one of the best as far as cases in the state...we have an entirely low case count compared to other counties in Oregon.” This statement is easy to fact check. Contrary to Commissioner Boice’s claim, Oregon Health Authority’s data indicates Douglas County is 17th highest of 36 counties in Oregon for coronavirus cases and 21st highest for deaths. Relative to his peer Commissioners in other Counties, Commissioner Boice is doing average at best. And his relative performance continues to worsen because deaths and cases in Southern Oregon are increasing at a disproportionate rate.

5. After conversing in person with Commissioner Boice, I’m convinced he talks and writes without thinking things through and often regrets it, as does our President. If you listen to Commissioner Boice’s radio intrerview, pay particular attention to how he contradicts himself. Starting around minute 3 of the interview, Commissioner Boice mentions his weekly conference call with other County Commissioners saying, “it was unanimous throughout most of the counties” how the counties should respond to the Governor’s new coronavirus restrictions. Several minutes later, Commissioner Boice says, “I HAVEN’T agreed with Association of Oregon Counties on pretty much EVERYTHING when it comes to COVID.”

6. As long as Commissioner Boice is accusing me of lying, I think it only appropriate he answer my question about School re-openings. On September 5, Commissioner Boice issued a press release (below link) congratulating himself for Douglas County’s 7-day positive test rate being below 1% for four weeks in a row.

http://douglaspublichealthnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/09-05-2020-DCCRT-DAILY-UPDATE-COVID-19.pdf

The reason this is important is because a 7-day positive test rate for three weeks under 1% is one of requirements for reopening Douglas County schools. And the Oregon Health Authority weekly school metrics report (below link) indicates Commissioner Boice was not being truthful and Douglas County has NEVER met that metric. In fact, I’ve asked Commissioner Boice multiple times to identify the weeks Douglas County’s 7-day positive test rate was below 1%. He has so far declined to respond. Bottom line, it never happened. It is this type of untruthful and misleading information being fed to the public by Commissioner Boice and his fellow Commissioners that endangers County children and increases the potential that more misinformed people will die in our county.

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Emerging%20Respitory%20Infections/Weekly-County-Metrics.pdf

Douglas County is a wonderful place to live. It is unfortunate however that our county leaders are more worried about the politics of a public health epidemic that they are the health of the residents who voted for them.

Rise722

Why do you report the Virus at this location, yet you continue to keep secret the other areas that have had positive cases???

I'm Here to Fact-check Mike

The very first sentence of this article states the VA took it upon itself to share this news. Further, other workplace outbreaks have indeed been reported, and those outbreaks have been published in the local news.

Mike

You are partly correct. First, the Roseburg VA knew about this outbreak WEEKS AGO and is only now reporting it. I say this because almost all of these cases were reported on the national VA website a week ago. Furthermore, they had to know these people had all of the symptoms a week before that (2 - 3 weeks ago) when they were tested. The only reason the "VA took it upon itself to share this news" now is because the VA knows the Oregon Health Authority will publish the updated workplace outbreak report later this afternoon.

Furthermore, the "news" has never reported on the outbreak at Umpqua Valley Nursing Center that was included in last weeks OHA report (below link). If it has, can you please point me to that link.

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Emerging%20Respitory%20Infections/COVID-19-Weekly-Report-2020-09-23-FINAL.pdf

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