Coronavirus precautions taken after Ada County man found dead

Posted: 4:37 PM, Feb 12, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-12 19:07:10-05

BOISE, Idaho — Officials from the health department and the Ada County Coroner’s Office took extra coronavirus-related precautions after a missing man was found dead.

On Sunday, February 9, the Ada County Coroner’s Office was dispatched to a locked home in the Pierce Park area of north Boise following a welfare check by Boise Police Department officers.

Officials found the resident, later identified as 71-year-old Frederick Gilbert, dead inside the home. He had not been seen for several days. “Mr. Gilbert was in advanced stages of decomposition,” said Ada County Coroner Dotti Owens.

Officials learned that Gilbert had recently traveled out of the country and had stayed in both India and China.

“Mr. Gilbert flew from Shenzen, China to Shanghai-Pudong, China to Los Angeles, California, and then Boise. He arrived in Boise shortly before 1700 hours (5 p.m.) on February 5,” Owens said.

“Due to the circumstances and, in coordination with Central District Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, samples were submitted for testing for coronavirus and influenza. Influenza testing returned negative results. Initial swab samples tested for novel coronavirus (covid-19) returned negative. However, due to the condition of the decedent and, in an abundance of caution, additional tests are being requested through the CDC,” Owens explained.

The additional testing will likely take up to ten days.

All possible safety and protective measures were taken by all agencies responding to the death and no other cases of suspected novel coronavirus (covid-19) have been reported to the Ada County Coroner’s Office, Owens said.