In their final meeting of 2020, the Marshall County Commissioners met December 31st in the meeting room of the County Building at 8:30 to finalize business for the year. They also received an update from the Marshall County Health Department.
During the meeting, Commissioner Kevin Overmyer said 132 inmates were tested on Wednesday. The results of those tests were not released until Saturday. It was noted that no employees were tested although it was recommended by the Marshall County Health Department to test everyone to create a baseline to help determine what is happening in the jail.
Letsinger told the Commissioners that state was willing to assist with testing the jail employees on Wednesday by having jail workers from other counties cover their positions while they were being tested but the offer was declined.
It was stated that following additional communications, Sheriff Hassel said he was willing to have his employees tested but now, instead of receiving a rapid test they will have to go to the LifePlex and do the test that take 3 to 5 days for results.
Letsinger said, “We missed the window. So now we’re going to have to figure out how they are tested at the LifePlex.” The County Health Nurse said those results will take at least 3 days.
There was a question from the Sheriff’s Department that if a new employee doesn’t have any time built-up and they test positive? Overmyer said Indiana Code 36-8-10-11.5 states that if a jail employee is injured or contracts an illness, the county would be responsible for the medical expenses. Overmyer stated, “We do have CARES money left so I would fully support, and I hope the other two (commissioners), that if some of those employees don’t have the time that we can supplement their income with this CARES funding.”
Overmyer said the correctional facility was given the opportunity to get free tests from the Department of Corrections but that was declined also.
Last week Dr. Holm the County Health Officer, Letsinger and County Health Nurse Sandy Dunfee had a conference call with Quality Correctional Care (QCC), the company that provides medical care to inmates in the jail. Overmyer said it was suggested giving inmates vitamin supplements to help their immune system, but Quality Care said they would just give them Tylenol.
Overmyer said, “They (QCC) have not been very cooperative.” He went on to say, “I think probably after the first of the year we’re going to have to have a call with QCC with our county attorney because if I remember, Jim, I think the commissioners signed that contract to provide health care for the Correctional Facility and so I think we’re going to have to have a discussion with them if they want to continue or if they want to be terminated.” He said, “There are inmates out there that are having issues and they are not being taken care of. They’re just being blown off.”
Letsinger said she was meeting with representatives from St. Joseph Hospital at the jail to look at the space incase inmates would need additional treatment so they would not have to transport them.