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Jail inmate dies due to COVID-19 complications

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The following is a news release from the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office.

An inmate at the Bonneville County Jail passed away Sunday while being treated at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for sickness related to Coronavirus. Carl J. Piirto, 61, of Idaho Falls was booked into jail on March 6 by the Idaho Falls Police Department for a felony parole violation warrant from the Idaho State Parole Commission.

On March 11, after showing symptoms consistent with the virus, medical staff at the jail administered a COVID-19 test to Piirto that returned positive. Piirto was then transported to EIRMC for treatment while under the guard of Bonneville County Sheriff’s Deputies. On March 14, Piirto unfortunately passed away while at the hospital and an autopsy has been scheduled.

Inmates booked into the Bonneville County Jail are placed in an isolated area of the facility for 10 days upon their arrival to monitor for signs and symptoms of Coronavirus to manage potential spread of the virus to other parts of the facility. Piirto was on day five of that isolation period when evidence of symptoms initiated a COVID-19 test by medical staff.

Medical staff at the jail are continuing to monitor other inmates and staff who may have had contact with Piirto during this time period as part of the ongoing safety protocols at the Bonneville County Jail. Procedures for medical evaluation and treatment are already in place in the event other inmates or staff begin showing signs or symptoms of the virus.

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