ROSEBURG, Ore.-- Officials from the Veterans Administration medical center in Roseburg have responded to an internal video showing a handful of office employees having a “dance party” without social distancing or face masks.
The video was first obtained by The Oregonian. In the video, you can see Director Keith Allen walking into the office with a boom box blaring "Sweet Caroline." He is followed by a parade of staff members who were all dancing and joining in on the fun.
KEZI 9 News reached out to the VA for comment, and they issued the following statement:
“VA realizes the importance of social distancing during this national emergency and will reiterate that to all employees involved. This video was made in an administrative, non-clinical area where PPE is not required. All staff who participated were volunteers and had been properly screened, per CDC and VA guidelines. Roseburg VAHCS takes its responsibility to protect Veterans and employees seriously, a fact that’s underscored by the facility’s 0.3% COVID-19 employee infection rate.”
KEZI 9 News also reached out to Congressman Peter DeFazio’s office for comment and received the following statement:
“Director Allen’s actions were totally inappropriate, especially in a health care setting and especially given the numerous veterans with underlying health conditions (which put them at greater risk for contracting COVID-19) served by the Roseburg VA Health Care System. I understand wanting to boost morale for his employees, but there are ways to do that while maintaining safety protocols and setting a good example for both our veterans and our front-line healthcare workers. I’ve reached out to him and to the regional VISN 20 leadership about his actions and need to see stronger leadership from him in the future.”