Fact Check | What percent of Ky. COVID cases, deaths are from nursing homes, prisons?

Published: May. 15, 2020 at 2:42 PM EDT
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State leaders are still working to address high numbers of COVID-19 cases in confined populations across Kentucky, including long-term care facilities (like nursing homes), other congregate facilities and state and federal prisons.

In fact, cases from those locations make up nearly 30 percent of Kentucky's confirmed cases and roughly 60 percent of the state's coronavirus-related deaths, according to a WKYT analysis of local, state and federal statistics.

Here's the breakdown of Kentucky's COVID-19 cases:

  • Total known COVID-19 cases: 7,225
  • Cases from long-term care facilities: 1,321 (941 residents + 380 staff)
  • Cases from other congregate facilities: 130 (45 patients/residents + 85 staff)
  • Cases from state prisons: 409 (357 inmates + 52 staff)
  • Cases from federal corrections facilities in Kentucky: 239 (232 inmates + 7 staff)
  • Total number of cases from the above confined populations: 2,099
  • Total cases outside of confined populations in Kentucky: 5,126

Here's the breakdown of Kentucky's coronavirus-related deaths:

  • Total known coronavirus-related deaths: 328
  • Related deaths from long-term care facilities: 191 (189 residents + 2 staff)
  • Related deaths from other congregate facilities: 3 patients/residents
  • Related deaths from state prisons: 2 inmates (possibly 3; awaiting autopsy results for cause of death)
  • Related deaths from federal corrections facilities in Kentucky: 0
  • Total number of coronavirus-related deaths from the above confined populations: 196
  • Total coronavirus-related deaths outside of confined populations in Kentucky: 132

State corrections officials have taken steps to address the outbreak at Green River Correctional Complex in Muhlenberg County, where 356 inmates and 50 staff have tested positive for COVID-19. (The prison also has two confirmed coronavirus-related deaths, plus a possible third.) On Thursday, Cabinet Secretary J. Michael Brown said the situation had begun to stabilize as the population had been separated into groups based on exposure and risk, personal protective equipment had been handed out, and other steps were being taken to prevent the spread of the virus.

Green River is one of only two state prisons where COVID-19 cases have been reported as of Friday afternoon, according to the

. Two staff members and one inmate have tested positive at Roederer Correctional Complex in Oldham County.

No cases have been reported so far at Bell County Forestry Camp, Blackburn Correctional Complex, Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex, Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women, Kentucky State Penitentiary, Kentucky State Reformatory, Lee Adjustment Center, Little Sandy Correctional Complex, Luther Luckett Correctional Complex, Northpoint Training Center or Western Kentucky Correctional Complex.

Concern is growing, though, for the situation at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington. The 229 inmate cases there account for nearly 44 percent of the total cases reported in Fayette County, according to numbers provided by the

. While the state cannot do anything about the inmates there because they are in the custody of the U.S. government, Gov. Beshear said he has pushed to have all of the facility's staff members tested.

"Those are our folks," he said during Thursday's news conference, "and I want to make sure we protect them."

Here's the breakdown of COVID-19 in federal prisons and halfway houses in Kentucky as of Friday afternoon, according to the federal


  • Dismas Charities Inc., Lexington: 1 positive inmate
  • Dismas of Manchester: 1 positive inmate
  • FMC Lexington: 202 positive inmates, 6 positive staff, 1 inmate death, 26 recovered inmates. (Update: The Lexington-Fayette Co. Health Department later reported two new coronavirus-related deaths in FMC inmates, raising the total to three.)
  • USP McCreary: 1 positive staff, 1 recovered inmate

Health officials are also working to test residents and staff at every long-term care facility across the state, Gov. Beshear has said. Jefferson, Butler, Graves, Hopkins, Adair, Kenton, Grayson and Jackson counties are among the areas with facilities that have been hit the hardest, according to the

. Cases from those facilities account for nearly a quarter of cases in Jefferson County, the county with the most total cases. They account for nearly all of the cases in Adair and Jackson counties.