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Are Schools That Shield Coronavirus Data Interpreting HIPAA Correctly?


It’s been almost a month since some schools started the academic year. The possibility of a coronavirus outbreak looms, but information about confirmed cases in many schools is not readily available to parents.

Health departments often cite protections outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act as their reason for not sharing data about positive coronavirus cases at local schools.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Belleville News-Democrat reporter Megan Valley detailed how the lack of coronavirus transparency is concerning parents in the Metro East. She’s heard from parents who have been doing their own detective work to find out which families have the virus.

The program included comments from Rob Gatter, a professor of law at the Center for Health Law Studies at St. Louis University, about whether school districts are interpreting HIPAA correctly.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Lara is the Engagement Editor at St. Louis Public Radio.