Fifth inmate dies at Federal Medical Center; Fayette sees jump in cases

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A 48-year-old Tennessee man serving a marijuana distribution sentence becomes the fifth coronavirus-related death at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington.

Stephen Cook, who first tested positive for the disease May 13, was placed on a ventilator at a Lexington hospital on May 29 and he died Wednesday, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons.

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Cook had been at the Federal Medical Center since May 7, 2013. He was serving a 360-month sentence from the Western District of Tennessee for conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

The death is the fifth at the prison, which currently houses 1,354 inmates. The facility provides treatment to federal inmates with health conditions.

The prison accounts for five of the 14 deaths in Fayette County since the first coronavirus case was confirmed in the state three months ago. The prison became a hotspot for the virus in early May but in the last week, the increase in cases there has tapered off.

Almost 300 cases have been confirmed there.

Friday morning, Fayette County reported 35 new cases, the highest single-day increase the county has had not related to the prison.

None of the new cases were at the prison.

The increase brought the total number in the county to 847.