BLACKFOOT — Dozens of inmates at the Bingham County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19.
Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland said that 53 inmates and five staff members had received positive test results for the novel coronavirus. There were 86 people in custody as of Friday Morning, Rowland said.
“It’s absolutely something I’ve been concerned about,” Rowland said EastIdahoNews.com. “I’m really surprised we haven’t had it (COVID-19) before this.”
The decision to test for coronavirus came after a couple of inmates began showing symptoms Monday. When the jail received four positive test results, everyone in the jail was tested Tuesday.
Rowland said the positive results came from pods throughout the facility and staff worked to contain the spread of the virus. While it isn’t possible to keep all positive cases out of the pods with those who tested negative, Rowland said deputies keep cellmates together based on their test results.
Jail Doctor Jeff Keller has advised inmates to receive medical checks at least three times a day at meals. Evaluations will include questionnaires about symptoms and temperature checks.
“They will get the best medical care,” Rowland said.
Bingham County is not the only jail to receive positive COVID-19 results. On Aug. 12, Bonneville County Sheriff Paul Wilde announced 34 of 35 inmates in a single pod at the Bonneville County Jail tested positive. Last week, Bannock County Sheriff Tony Manu announced four positive cases at the Bannock County Jail.