Inmate at federal prison in Lexington dies from COVID-19

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A federal inmate has died from the coronavirus at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington as the epidemic continues to spread through the medical correctional facility.

On Monday, a small group of protesters gathered across from the prison, some holding signs, calling for a release date for their loved ones who have already been approved for home confinement.

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According to the Lexington Health Department, 14 new cases have been confirmed at the facility. The federal Bureau of Prisons says 142 inmates and six staff have tested positive.

According to the federal Bureau of Prisons, inmate 59-year-old Juan Mata tested positive for the virus April 30, was admitted to the intensive care unit  at a Lexington hospital, was intubated May 8 due to respiratory failure and severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) from
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pneumonia, and died Monday May 11.

He had long-term, pre-existing medical conditions which the CDC lists as risk factors for developing more severe COVID-19 disease, according to the Bureau of Prisons.



Mata was sentenced to 135 months in prison from the Western District of Texas for conspiring to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine. He’d been at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington for treatment of his underlying conditions since July 30, 2014, the Bureau said.

FMC Lexington is an administrative security facility that currently houses 1,414 inmates.

According to the Fayette County Health Department, the county saw an increase of 22 cases from Sunday, including the 14 at the Federal Medical Center. The county now has confirmed 411 cases since the outbreak began. Of those, 127 are at the federal facility.

The county now has had 10 deaths, including the federal inmate.