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Illinois Attorney General – disclosure of names of COVID-19 infected people to law enforcement is permissible

Illinois (ECWd) –

“The Office of the Attorney General for the State of Illinois (OAG) was asked to address whether the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) allows local departments of public health to provide information regarding individuals with positive tests for COVID-19 to law enforcement. In response, on March 27, 2020, during a presentation to State’s Attorneys in Illinois, the OAG advised that such disclosure is permissible because of an exception to HIPAA. Specifically, the OAG’s presentation stated the exception applies because “disclosure to first responders will enable them to use personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.”

While the question asked was about the release of information to law enforcement, it’s logical to conclude the same information should also be released to all first responders such as Ambulance operations, fire departments, etc.  Anyone that may be called to a location where there is a known positive case of the China virus COVID-19 should be informed in advance.

In addition to the notifications outlined in the letter below, we urge all law enforcement that tests positive to immediately identify every person they came in contact with whether it be a traffic stop or any other law enforcement operation so that those people can be informed that they were in contact with a person who tested positive.

We understand the Piatt County Sheriff was transported by ambulance to a hospital, allegedly testing positive for the COVID-19 virus.   While we have confirmed he was transported by ambulance, we have been unable to confirm if he tested positive for the virus and are awaiting a response from his office.

Coles county is now reporting a deputy and one civilian in the Sheriff’s office have tested positive and are currently being monitored at home.

A copy of the notification letter can be viewed at this link or viewed below.

20200402_Updated_LHD_Guidance_Inform

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2 replies »

  1. “…the exception applies because “disclosure to first responders will enable them to use personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.”

    Oh, I thought they would be using PPE regardless. I’m glad they now have something that will “enable” them to use PPE. Seriously though, this is one of those issues that, once put in place, will never go away and will only morph into something even more invasive. This should terrify all of us.