How a COVID-19 Case is Managed by Health Care


Colorado Department of Health & Environment



The Prowers Journal contacted Meagan Hillman, Director of Prowers County Public Health and Environment, who replied on HIPAA regulations which outline privacy requirements for patients. (HIPAA-Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.

Perhaps it is best to explain how a case is managed. By law, COVID-19 positive tests must be reported to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The local agency (county-level) is notified and then tasked with managing the case. We talk to the person and do contact tracing, finding out who the person has been in close contact with.

The person with the positive (virus) is placed in isolation and the close contacts are placed in quarantine (there are good references on for these two concepts). An outbreak occurs when 2 or more cases associated with a particular location within a 14 day period, usually a business is noted.

Recent Kit Carson virus information was so specific due to an outbreak there and the county’s health department knew of the places many of the cases had been. By alerting the public they can better contain future cases. It does not disclose the personal information of any of the positive cases.

We do not give identifying information on patients for their protection and privacy. If a person had close contact with a case they would be notified by public health. If a business was identified as the location of an outbreak, we would notify the public.

Think about it on a personal level, would you like all your information all over social media?

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