Disease & Disclosure Preserving Privacy in the Pandemic

Q. If a resident in our building tests positive for COVID-19, or is self-quarantined, should we tell the other residents and staff?

A. According to Manhattan-based law firm Armstrong Teasdale, "Residents should be notified if the board or management receives notification that someone tests positive for COVID-19 in the building. However the name and apartment number of the resident should not be disclosed to the other residents. Similarly, if a board learns someone has decided to self-quarantine, the board should not disclose this. People self-quarantine for many reasons, and may not pose an immediate or imminent danger.  Regardless of what the residents are told, they must continue to act appropriately: wash hands with soap often, use disinfectant on surfaces, and keep hands away from their mouth, nose and eyes."

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  • What is the legal basis for not disclosing the name of the affected person? Contact avoidance is a primary consideration. I would like to see the legal basis for nondisclosure.