Loved ones reach out to congress as COVID-19 cases continue to rise at the Federal Medical Center

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – We’ve been telling you about the concern over the rising number of coronavirus cases at the Federal Medical Center.

On Monday, we reported the first death of an inmate.

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We spoke to a loved one of an inmate at the center who says there’s an effort to get the attention of congress about what’s going on.

Dallas LaBlanc describes her emotion and stress, “I breakdown and cry probably several times a day because I just down know what’s going on with him” her Fiancé is currently an inmate in the Federal Medical Center.

 

The Federal Medical Center has become a hot spot for COVID 19 cases in Lexington accounting for nearly one third of the confirmed cases in Fayette County.

Loved ones of the inmates in the center say they want information. LaBlanc adds, “I don’t understand how taking away their communication is supposed to help, and my fiancé made this point as well, he stated it doesn’t make any sense when there’s a certain amount of sinks a certain amount of toilets everybody touches them and they’re not getting disinfected between uses or anything in that nature.”

Senator Mitch McConnell Office wrote in a statement: “Senator McConnell’s office continues to be in close contact with state and local officials to monitor the situation, as well as the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Prisons to get more resources to the Lexington Federal Medical Center and to encourage its workers to get tested.”

Dallas went elsewhere for answers, “I started a massive letter writing campaign with all of my friends and family, everybody that I could get on board. We started writing letters about the issue and sending them to Rand Paul’s office.”

She found out Wednesday afternoon her fiancé has test positive for COVID-19. We reached out to the Federal Medical Center for comment on this story. We were referred to the Office of Public Affairs for the Bureau of Prisons. They sent a lengthy response, the statement said in part.

We realize that suspending social visiting at our institutions has an impact on inmates and their loved ones, but our primary purpose in doing so is to help keep them and the community safe.  Inquiries from family members are ordinarily forwarded to the inmate’s unit team at FMC Lexington.   The unit team provides updates with family members regarding an inmate’s health and case status.  Inmate’s next of kin are notified via phone by our Chaplains office or unit team if they are sent to the local hospital for the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  All inmates are afforded the opportunity to correspond with their family members through postal mail.  However, as a result of the infectious nature of the COVID-19 virus and our need to isolate inmates, inmates who are positive with COVID-19 at FMC Lexington are not being provided access to telephone or email at this time.  We will continue to evaluate this approach and make communication avenues more fully available as soon as possible.  Updates are provided to family inquiries as soon as possible by the unit team.  We are working to process incoming calls as quickly as possible.”

If you would like more information about the Bureau of Prisons Coronavirus response you can learn more on their website.

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Meteorologist Justin Roth weather forecasts can be seen weekend evenings on ABC 36 at 6:30 PM at 11 PM. Justin will also forecast the weather at 10 PM (MyKY 36.2) three days a week. Justin comes to WTVQ from the NBC affiliate in Casper, WY and interned in Knoxville, TN all where he gained the understandings of forecasting mountainous terrains and rapidly changing environments. His forecasts are for YOUR day and making YOUR life just a bit easier. Justin was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from Western Illinois University with Minors in Broadcasting and Mathematics. His interest in weather began at a young age when his parents gave him a book, ‘First Field Guide To Weather’ for his Birthday, ever since then weather has been a passion of his from forecasting to chasing tornadoes. When not forecasting the weather, Justin enjoys exploring new places and anything outdoors. He’s a self-proclaimed history buff and loves rooting for favorite sport teams, The St. Louis Cardinals and Blues. Please feel free to share any outdoor picture you’d like to share with him send them his way at JRoth@wtvq.com And be sure to follow him: Twitter - @JustinRothWx Instagram - @JustinRothWx