A Resolution requesting the Metropolitan Department of Public Health follow the lead of the Tennessee Department of Health and stop the practice of sharing COVID-19 patient information with law enforcement.
WHEREAS, on May 27, 2020, the Tennessean reported that Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Health would end the practice of sharing a list of residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 with law enforcement and other first responders; and
WHEREAS, the Governor’s coronavirus task force cited the stabilization of the supply chain for personal protective equipment and the increase in understanding of COVID-19 as reasons why the continued disclosure of this personal information is no longer needed; and
WHEREAS, another fear from the Governor’s coronavirus taskforce is that law enforcement and first responders should treat every individual as if they may have COVID-19, and the sharing of this information may provide a false sense of security if there is no information that someone has tested positive; and
WHEREAS, while the state will soon stop the practice of sharing COVID-19 patient data with law enforcement, the Metropolitan Department of Public Heath continues to share COVID-19 patient data and has not yet outlined any plans to stop the practice; and
WHEREAS, this practice of information-sharing can discourage immigrants and people of color from seeking out testing and may lead to the further spread of the coronavirus. As a local government, it is important that Metro keep this patient data private; and
WHEREAS, the areas of Nashville-Davidson County showing the greatest number of new COVID-19 cases over the past four weeks are in communities of color and in communities with high percentages of immigrant residents; and
WHEREAS, for these reasons, the Metropolitan Department of Public Health should abandon the practice of sharing COVID-19 patient data with law enforcement.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1. That the Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record as requesting that the Metropolitan Department of Public Health follow the lead of the Tennessee Department of Health and stop the practice of sharing COVID-19 patient information with law enforcement.
Section 2. The Metropolitan Clerk is hereby directed to send a copy of this resolution to Director and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Caldwell of the Metropolitan Department of Public Health.
Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
Colby Sledge, Freddie O'Connell, Russ Bradford, Sandra Sepulveda, Delishia Porterfield, Emily Benedict, Zulfat Suara
Referred toHealth, Hospitals, and Social Services Committee
IntroducedJune 2, 2020
AdoptedJune 2, 2020
Returned unsigned by the MayorJune 3, 2020
Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615-862-6770.
Last Modified: 06/07/2020 3:12 PM