COVID-19 outbreak at a prison in Lee County, parents worry for son’s health

LEE COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lee Adjustment Center has more than 100 people with COVID-19, according to the state.

Cornetta and her husband James say they’re worried for their son’s health and anyone else inside the prison.

“I am worried. I know he needs to do his time, but I don’t want him to die over Coronavirus,” Cornetta said.

As of Monday, the prison has 94 inmates and 9 staff members who actively have COVID-19, according to the Department of Corrections.

The prison’s parent company, Core Civic, says 13 staff members actively have the virus.

“My son is a healthy young man, but healthy young men have died,” Cornetta said.

They couple says they don’t know yet if he has Coronavirus, but they do know he’s been experiencing symptoms.

“He’s been having the cough, aching all over, the sore throat, he’s been hurtin’ really, you know his whole body,” she said.

The public affairs director of Core Civic says anyone with symptoms is immediately removed from the general population, tested and the housing pod also goes into quarantine.

But despite these written guidelines, Cornetta is still worried about what is happening inside.

“I want them to treat my son as if it was their son,” she said.

She said sometimes there’s a stigma around inmates, but an incarcerated person is still a person.

“It’s like because you’re in prison you don’t matter. But you do matter. You’re somebody’s son, somebody’s cousin, somebody’s uncle, you’re somebody’s brother. It does matter,” Cornetta said.

The family said they hope by sharing their concern more resources and attention might be paid to the outbreak and to the inmate’s health.

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