Health Dept

As the coronavirus spreads through the region, a big question on social media platforms – and in person – seems to be why authorities don’t release more information about those who’ve tested positive for the illness. The answer is simple: It’s to ensure the privacy of victims, for legal and other reasons.

Jenny Barrie of the LaSalle County Health Department says they won’t release any information that can identify a victim. That’s due to HIPPA and patient-confidentiality laws. Beyond that reason, she points out that the small size of our communities makes it easier for people to identify the victims. And, she says we need to understand that people who are being monitored are entitled to privacy, compassion and concern.

What Barrie DOESN’T say is that, in this climate, those who test positive can be exposed to online rumors and negative comments.

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