By Mike Weland

“Have you heard anything about the jail releasing all the inmates because a jailer tested positive for the corona virus?” I was asked this morning. “Someone told me yesterday everyone had just been released, wondering if it’s true.

“Seems pretty stupid if you ask me,” the message continued. “They may have been exposed, so let’s let them loose to really spread it around, especially considering almost all inmates are there for drug charges which are perfect for spreading it while they go back to running around everywhere getting high!”

“We still have inmates,” Sheriff Dave Kramer responded when I shared the question with him.

“Okay, thank you!” was the reply. “It didn’t sound right, you’d think they would transfer them before they released them. But since this is Bonners Ferry and they make up rules as they go along, you never know!”

In a release, county public information Andrew O’Neel wrote, “recently a detention deputy tested positive for Covid-19. Their symptoms were minor and did not require any hospitalization, with an expected return to work clearance next week.”

As a precaution, the Sheriff’s Office has followed Panhandle Health District recommendations and identified any employees that may have been at risk to also be tested. To date, no one else has tested positive.

“Even though Panhandle Health did not think any of the inmates would have been at risk from potential exposure we had the inmates tested too as a precaution,” O’Neel wrote.

“We are still housing inmates, and still bringing people to jail when needed,” Kramer said.

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