A man is alleging that positive cases of COVID-19 among Roseburg Rescue Mission residents are not properly handled.

A man living at the Roseburg Rescue Mission is alleging that some of the shelter’s residents have recently tested positive for COVID-19 but have continued to live their daily lives rather than serve the ordered 14-day quarantine for those with positive tests.

Mark VanDeWalker, 59, lives at the shelter and is responsible for the laundry for its residents. He told The News-Review last week that he knew of at least four of the shelter’s residents who were “sick” with the coronavirus, yet still allowed to perform their daily tasks as a condition of staying at the mission. Some of those tasks involve direct contact with the public.

“I have my shots, but some of them in there refuse to,” VanDeWalker said. “It’s messed up.”

VanDeWalker said his responsibilities at the shelter include entering the rooms of who he said are positive for COVID-19 and gathering all of their laundry.

“I don’t have a (hazardous materials) suit,” VanDeWalker said. “There are sick people there. I’m not sick, but I should be able to have a temporary place to live, and I’m not going to live under a pine tree with people crapping behind me.”

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, the Roseburg Rescue Mission has never been placed on the Oregon Health Authority’s active outbreak list for senior living, assisted living or congregate living facilities.

Lynn Antis, executive director of the shelter, told The News-Review this week he did not have any information as to whether some people staying at the mission had tested positive for COVID-19.

An acquaintance of VanDeWalker, who asked to not be identified, echoed VanDeWalker’s claim.

“The people in charge don’t seem to know what to do,” the person said. “Nobody seems to know what’s going on from day to day. But they sure can kick you out.”

Donovan Brink can be reached at dbrink@nrtoday.com. He can be reached at 541-957-4219

and 541-957-4219.

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Donovan Brink is the cops and courts reporter for The News-Review.

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(2) comments


This is definitely a case for the disbanded Tiger Team to jump in their vans and to go to both the male and female missions to test everyone and to provide vaccinations. Not just covid vaccines, but flu shots as well.

Rumors run rife in such group settings and there may not be anything to the fears and gossip. But if there are some positive cases in the group, the mission could use public health help in setting up proper isolation and quarantine.

When Douglas County has such a low rate of vaccination, covid could turn up anywhere from the mission to the country club. Contagious viruses don't care who they infect.


Think about yourself...get vaccinated. The others simply don't care if they get sick, and I dare say some wouldn't care if they died. Such is the human folly.

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