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Jail inmates, staff test positive

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | August 11, 2020 1:00 AM

PHD reports 782 active cases, most in Kootenai County

COEUR d’ALENE — Jail inmates and staff have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

According to a press release Monday, there are 28 total positive results of the coronavirus out of an inmate population of 358. Twenty-three were inmates and five were staff.

“The safety of the inmates and staff are our first priority and the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office is taking every step necessary to stop any further spread of the COVID-19 virus within the facility,” the release said.

The vast majority of those testing positive showed no symptoms and all who tested positive are being quarantined, the release said.

Jail officials said they have been and will continue to take precautions such as testing, wearing face masks, social distancing as much as possible and sanitizing to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Panhandle Health District reported 67 new coronavirus cases over the weekend and Monday, bringing the total cases to 2,194, with 1,412 of those closed. Thirty are hospitalized and four are in critical care at Kootenai Health. There have been 18 deaths, all people over 70 years of age.

Kootenai County has 1,802 cases. Bonner has 176 cases, Shoshone has 96, Benewah has 58 and Boundary has 37.

There are a total of 782 active cases in the PHD, about .32 percent of the district’s population.

Many of the cases, 580, are in the 18-29 age group.

Meanwhile, a state COVID Help Now Line offers support for anyone facing challenges associated with the virus.

“Trained crisis counselors will help callers assess their current situation and reaction and will provide coping mechanisms to reduce stress,” says a press release.

The help line can be reached by calling or texting 986-867-1073 or toll-free 866-947-5186.