Governor, Department of Health address contract tracing privacy concerns

Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– If you come in close contact with a positive Covid-19 patient you may receive a confidential phone call from a Louisiana Department of Health Contact Tracer.

The Contact Tracers will call positive Covid-19 patients to gather information about where the patient was before testing positive. Participating in the measure is optional. Neither the Governor’s Office or Department of Health are enforcing the it at this time.

Senator Bill Cassidy discussed privacy concerns with contact tracing during his press conference on Wednesday.

“Privacy is absolutely of greatest importance,” Cassidy said. The Louisiana Senator said in order to reopen the economy safely contract tracing is necessary and helpful. “The way to do that is to know who might be infected,” Cassidy said.

Governor John Bel Edwards and Dr. Alex Billoux with the Department of Health also addressed privacy concerns when asked by a reporter during Wednesday’s news conference.

“Individuals obviously have a privacy interest but they also have an interest with knowing if someone has covid-19,” Edwards said.

Dr. Billoux voiced that he understands the anxiety of his office reaching out. “We wouldn’t be doing any of this if it wasn’t such a public health need and important for the public,” Billoux said.

The confidential phone calls will be protected in the same way medical records are protected by HPPA privacy laws.

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