262 COVID-19 cases reported in Elliott County prison

Posted at 11:16 PM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 23:18:59-04

ELLIOT COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — An Elliott County prison is the fourth state prison to have over 200 inmates test positive for coronavirus since the pandemic began in March.

On Tuesday, Little Sandy Correctional Complex had confirmed 262 active cases of coronavirus in inmates and five active cases in staff members.

Inmates will be separated into four groups based on their test results and whether they've had exposure to the virus or are at risk, Secretary of the Governor's Executive Cabinet J. Michael Brown said.

"The virus can come in from any sources," Brown said at Governor Beshear's coronavirus briefing Tuesday. "Sometimes it's a transfer, sometimes it's the staff, sometimes we actually don't know how it got in there."

The outbreak is a concern for members of the social media group, KY Inmate Families, who advocate for their incarcerated loved ones.

"I don't feel that they've learned anything," said the wife of a Kentucky State Reformatory inmate who asked to remain anonymous over concern that speaking out could hurt her husband.

"Every single inmate at every facility should've been tested multiple times and they don't do it," she said.

Since March, there have also been coronavirus outbreaks where more than 200 inmates have tested positive at Green River Correctional Facility, Kentucky State Reformatory and Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women.

The outbreak at Little Sandy Correctional Complex places Elliott County well into the state's "red zone" designation. Despite the majority of the county's cases coming from the prison, Governor Beshear said the county still needs to follow the guidelines that he's laid out for "red zone" counties.

"There's 300 plus employees, vendors and the rest that go in and out on a daily basis," Beshear said, "With that amount of virus in the facility people coming in are getting it and people are taking it out and it means that community is at risk based on that level of transmission."