Roseland COVID-19 center residents accused of going into nearby business

Published: May. 20, 2020 at 4:09 PM EDT
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An investigation is underway after three people from the COVID-19 isolation center in Roseland left quarantine and went into a nearby business.

The city of South Bend is listed as the "offender" for "criminal recklessness" in the police report.

The Motel 6 in Roseland is being leased by South Bend for those who have nowhere to quarantine.

According to the police report, the incident happened late Monday morning between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.

Three residents at the COVID-19 center were seen walking over to the Belmont Beverage liquor store next door.

A clerk confirms she rang up three people, believing they came from the COVID-19 center.

The report states another person working at a nearby business called the liquor store, stating they saw the patients walking over to the liquor store after a COVID isolation center staff member went inside the Motel 6.

The isolation center manager reportedly confirmed with the liquor store that he knew the patients had come over to the store and that the center has had problems controlling patients due to too many patients going outside to smoke.

The COVID-19 center manager reportedly said they would try to have fewer patients outside smoking, according to the police report.

"If you are tested for COVID-19 and you are told to be quarantined in a center, then you stay in that center," said Elizabeth McCombs, president of the Roseland Town Council. "You don't go to the various businesses or walk down the streets. God forbid, with my seniors and children and families, who are sheltering in place and doing the correct thing. You are to go to that center and stay in that center. That is the agreement."

As of Wednesday afternoon, it doesn't appear that anyone has been arrested.

City of South Bend Spokesman Caleb Bauer issued a statement:

“The City is proud of its efforts to address this regional public health need during a global pandemic. We have worked tirelessly with Roseland to address as many of their concerns as possible and will continue to do so. The City of South Bend has not been contacted by the Roseland Police Department or Town of Roseland about this report, and learned about it from the media.”

We have confirmed with Jeff Rea, who's coordinating the coronavirus response for the county, that patients are not allowed to leave the COVID-19 isolation center.

This is a developing story. Watch for updates on air and online.

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