County / State Still Not Divulging Location of COVID Patients in SCC Despite New Executive Order
By Marion Vendituoli April 10, 2020
Residents of eastern Santa Cruz County wondering if any of their neighbors might be suffering from COVID will probably still not be able to access this information despite an announcement from the Arizona Dept. of Health Services that, starting April 12, the state will be releasing information, by zip code, of the location, gender and ethnicity of patients being treated for coronavirus.
To date, there have been seven confirmed cases of coronavirus reported in Santa Cruz County. The Santa Cruz County Health Dept. has not released the locations of these patients on advice from the County Attorney’s office, because of privacy constraints, according to County Health Director Jeff Terrell. Further, all reporting will be available on the state website, not at the county level. “This is not a mandate from the state for the counties,” Terrell said in a phone interview. “I have no idea what’s going to be coming out.”
The low number of reported cases in the county make accessing this information more difficult because the state will not be releasing information on individual patients in any zip code with a small number of cases in an effort to maintain patient privacy. Terrell said his understanding was that the threshold for reporting is now tentatively set at ten cases per zip code. It is also unclear if the state COVID reporting will be for new cases or will be retroactive. The PRT will be following this story.