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  • Judge orders county health dept to disclose names of coronavirus patients to emergency dispatchers

    Judge orders county health dept to disclose names of coronavirus patients to emergency dispatchers

    A judge has ordered that the McHenry County Department of Health divulge the names of coronavirus patients to emergency dispatchers so police know who has the virus when they respond to emergency calls, prosecutors said.

    H/T: Chicago Tribune

    Illinois State's Attorney Patrick Kenneally sided with Sheriff Bill Prim over the Health Department and filed a lawsuit to force disclosure of patient information that would normally be protected by existing law.

    The Health Department refused to reveal the names, prosecutors stated in a news release. Health departments have typically cited privacy concern in withholding such information, specifically the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

    The court order directed the Health Department to disclose the names within 24 hours of being notified. The order also required that the names of patients shall be purged from the dispatch system seven days after the health department deems the patients no longer contagious. The court also ordered that all the information received by the dispatch system be kept confidential.

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