ACLU: Telling First Responders If People Have The 'Rona Puts Responders At Risk

Sandy Malone

Gov. Tim Walz ordered the state's health department to provide first responders with the addresses of COVID-19 patients.

Saint Paul, MN – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Minnesota has objected to the governor’s order forcing the health department to provide addresses of people infected with coronavirus to first responders.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued an executive order on April 10 that forced the Minnesota Department of Health to share “limited information” about who has tested positive for COVID-19 with the Department of Public Safety, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Armed with that information, emergency dispatchers can tell responding police, firefighters, and paramedics if somebody at that address has tested positive for coronavirus.

“First responders keep Minnesotans and their communities safe and help ensure that critical services continue to be provided — and it is imperative to protect their health and safety,” the governor’s office said in a statement.

But ACLU-Minnesota Legal Director Teresa Nelson has argued that sharing information about who has tested positive “is a serious overreach and a major violation of our constitutional right to privacy,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Further, the ACLU said that giving first responders that information will not be helpful because they believe the scarcity of tests has resulted in unreliable data.

“Providing a list to law enforcement that contains a clear undercount of COVID-19 cases would create a false sense of security, likely leading to more cases of coronavirus among our first responders,” Nelson told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

But the governor pushed back on those assertions.

“We are very aware of the privacy concerns and are extremely sensitive to them,” Walz said. “We’re also confident that public health leaders and public safety experts have developed a process that helps protect this information — nearly a dozen other states have done this since the COVID-19 crisis began. Minnesota can certainly do it, too.”

The order to release the information about coronavirus-positive residents was proposed by a law enforcement coalition made up of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association, and the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The coalition told the governor that knowing where infected patients lived would allow first responders to take extra precautions where needed, and conserve masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for when it was most needed.

They also said it would help stop first responders from spreading the virus as well, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

“We are very pleased and relieved that the Governor has chosen to share this information with 911 dispatch centers across the state,” Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association Executive Director Andy Skoogman said after the governor’s announcement. “With the extremely scarce supply of personal protective equipment available, our first responders can now better prepare themselves for every call-for-service and use the protective equipment more wisely.”

Walz order went into effect immediately on April 10 and directed the health department to distribute the addresses of contagious cases of coronavirus to 911 dispatch centers, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The order said the health department must notify the Department of Public Safety when addresses no longer have a contagious person, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

It also said information should not be openly shared over unsecured channels.

Walz order further said that first responders couldn’t use the presence of a contagious person at the address as a reason not to respond to an emergency call at the residence, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

As of April 28, Minnesota had 4,181 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 300 patients have died, according to Bing’s COVID-19 Tracker.

Comments (24)
No. 1-18
Back_theblue
Back_theblue

So tired of the ACLU and their opinion. As a Haz May responder and dealing with BIO Hazards it’s a need to know. They park their ass behind a desk or table and see what kind of shit they can stir. Put them out in the field and they would be crying they need to know. These bottom of the bucket, pond scum, ambulance chasers need to STFU and mind their own business.

2ezas
2ezas

OK, then the ACLU can send a rep out first and wait for services to arrive while they suit up “ as if every person has Covid19”. Once they suit up about 5-8 minutes will have passed NOW they will complain that services were not rendered in a timely manner 🤣🤣🤣😷🙃

mghtyms04
mghtyms04

The use of this information is noting new and has president. When I used to work for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health In Arizona we regularly disseminated information regarding highly infectious individuals to police, fire, and EMS. This would include people who have HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis, and certain types of measles and sometimes those with herpes. We even did this for people infected with H1N1 at the time. The health and safety of our first responders is top priority and having this information and having this information helps them better prepare for the situation they may be dealing with. If first responders want this information they should have it. This is a public health crisis and should be treated as such and the ACLU can suck it. All they do is sit behind a desk and push papers all day. They have zero clue as to what it’s like to have to deal with this type of invisible threat.

Cop Watch
Cop Watch

another list to be used and abused. not to mention the HIPAA violations.

Cduncanf
Cduncanf

Where are they when it comes to all the other civil liberties that are being violated right now? Like closing gun stores, liquor stores and not being allowed to go to your second home?

Bigyoda20
Bigyoda20
  1. HIPPA violation
  2. If they are using proper precautions, it shouldn’t be a concern.
  3. if they deal with an unruly person, glove and mask will do no good. Gloves rip, masks can get pulled off.
  4. They going to start using a list like this for AIDS, TB, HepA,B,C, etc.? Why have those diseases never been brought up?
  5. This is another step in the direction of all of us having to be card carrying Vaxers or having to keep our entire medical history on a chip implant.
    You think that’s far fetched? Take a good look around. Look at what the high and mighty people like Bill Gates and others have been involved in and pushing.

This is no different than the little bites that have been taken out of the 2nd Amendment for decades not to mention other parts of our lives government has meddled in- all in the name of “safety” or “security”. Anyone thinking this is a good idea needs to sit down and really think about this. Again, like the constant fight for the 2nd Amendment, do you think the powers that be will be satisfied with this list and for this current situation? If they can get away with this, do you honestly think they won’t try it with other things? Seriously, can you be that naive or patently stupid?
We are marching ever closer to the reality of George Orwell’s “1984”. If you’re not familiar with that work of ‘fiction’ I suggest you Read it or watch the movie. Then take a good look at the happenings of last 50 years.

Wolfman2253
Wolfman2253

Then those bottom dwellers from the ACLU can go and handle the calls....typical BS from the aclu trash

Stanracer
Stanracer

The ACLU need to back off. This is a world wide health issue.

bryantrent
bryantrent

Crazy

Shepfershort
Shepfershort

The ACLU is only around when a hoodrat forces a cop to shoot it.

XIHP308
XIHP308

If they are successful with this complaint then next it will be the listing of sexual predators? Don't recall anytime the ACLU was on the side of law and order, anyone?

Raymelson
Raymelson

I don't think the right to privacy exists anymore the big dogs seem to always win so ima gonna stay locked loaded and ready because I think the shit's gonna hit the fan also I hope I'm wrong

Jason942-
Jason942-

Has the (F-U)ACLU said anything about mandatory stay at home and/or mask orders?

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued an executive order on Aprail 10 that forced the state health department to provide addresses of people infected with coronavirus to first responders.

Interesting that he supports sharing the protected health information of the state's law-abiding citizens with law enforcement, but not their immigration status.

Governor Walz supports Minnesota being an illegal immigrant sanctuary state.

LEO-Retired
LEO-Retired

Several years ago I had occasion (OFFICIAL BIDNESS!) to enter the local offices of the ACLU. There have been 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution but the ACLU supports only 26, which were framed and lining the hallway. Wanna guess which one was absent? No fair guessing 2nd Amendment first!

LEO-Retired
LEO-Retired

I had most of this all figured out, but then along came Bigyoda20 and derailed my train of thought, which caused a train wreck. He’s correct and his points are well taken. If enough grains of sand are stolen then sooner or later we’ve lost the entire beach. It’s called encroachment, and it’s a very effective method for bending societies to the will of the Powers. Eventually encroachment won’t be needed, only orders and edicts. For examples you need look no further than N. Korea, China, Russia and Nazi Germany, to name only a few. In 1905 the Brits were stripped of their private arms, which was accomplished by written order. At the beginning of WWII the British Government was begging U.S. Citizens for THEIR firearms, which they promised to return after the need was no longer there. Amazingly enough, many, but not all, of the rifles, shotguns and pistols were returned.
Only fools and liberals believe that such can’t happen here, in our country. (Sorry. I think I repeated myself.)

Laughriot
Laughriot

When the ACLU stops ignoring the existence of the 2nd amendment and the ability for a nation to have sovereign borders I’ll star considering them more than worthless sacks of shit.

Trefflek
Trefflek

“We’re also confident that public health leaders and public safety experts have developed a process that helps protect this information — nearly a dozen other states have done this since the COVID-19 crisis began. Minnesota can certainly do it, too.”

Hahaha, this is the same thing every company that has been hacked and info stolen has said, including the federal government.


News

FEATURED
COMMUNITY