Officials explain why more info isn't released about COVID-19 victims

Linn County Public Health offices on March 10, 2020 (Josh Scheinblum/KCRG).
Linn County Public Health offices on March 10, 2020 (Josh Scheinblum/KCRG).(KCRG)
Published: Mar. 21, 2020 at 12:29 AM CDT
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TV9 has taken several calls into the newsroom about county health departments not telling the public where people who have coronavirus have been.

Linn County Public Health says it cannot disclose that unless the people who are testing positive say it's OK and the venues where they have visited say it's OK too. That includes the person, their workplace and any business they may have gone to, among other details.

"Because of privacy issues and HIPAA, which I'm sure we're all familiar with, I'm not allowed to go to the public and say, 'Hey, Jon Snow has COVID-19. He works here. He got on the bus on this day.' But I can, when I work with local partners, be able to disclose some of that information," Tricia Kitzman, community health manager at the Linn County Public Health Department, said.

The reason the locations of some people who tested positive are released is because they went public, not because the health department revealed them.