Payette County inmate dies with COVID; deputies at jail previously tested positive

A portion of the inside of the Payette County Jail, which has a 70-bed capacity, is pictured in February of 2019.

PAYETTE

An inmate at the Payette County Jail, who had tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks after he was booked into the facility died on Nov. 25.

According to a news release issued by the Payette County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, Andrew Cremers, 59, died at a Treasure Valley hospital with COVID-19.

An official with the Canyon County Coroner’s office verified that Cremer’s had been under a physician’s care, and had been hospitalized in an intensive care unit for five days. He said that Cremer’s died from pneumonia due to COVID, adding that there were no other signs of anything, such as trauma, abuse or neglect.

Cremers was been booked in the Payette County Jail on Oct. 28 on one felony and two misdemeanor warrants from Payette County and one felony warrant from Wisconsin, according to the release.

“On Nov. 20, Cremers started to show symptoms of COVID-19 and was transported to a local hospital for care,” wrote Sheriff’s Lt. Andy Creech in the release. “During the time that Cremers has been in custody, he has had limited contact with other inmates within the facility. He had one other inmate in his cell at the time that his symptoms appeared. That inmate is currently being quarantined and is not showing symptoms of COVID-19.”

As reported on Nov. 18, prior to Cremers showing symptoms, five sheriff’s deputies assigned to the jail had tested positive for COVID-19.

Creech later clarified that only two jail deputies who work with the inmates test positive. During the month of November, nine staff tested positive, including one administrator, two jail deputies, two jail technicians, two support staff and two patrol deputies.

“Jail Technicians mainly with the public and the court systems,” reads the email. “They do not work inside the jail facility.”

“The Payette County Sheriff’s Office has been continuing to conduct daily screenings of all inmates throughout our facility,” according to Creech. “These screenings are monitoring the inmate’s temperatures as well as other common COVID-19 symptoms. Inmates needing medical care are seen by either our facility doctor or the Payette County Paramedics.”

Creech said the Sheriff’s Office is presently working with Southwest District Health to add testing capability to the jail, to be able to test symptomatic inmates and staff for the virus.

“The results of the tests would be immediately available. This testing capability would allow our detention facility to respond to COVID-19 concerns in a quicker manner and limit the spread of COVID-19 throughout the facility.”

Creech said this was the first death of an inmate with COVID.

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