ULAC Seeks To Join Lawsuit To Protect People Who Test Positive For COVID-19 From Having Their Personal Information Turned Over To Police
Nation’s Oldest & Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Files a Motion to Intervene Supporting McHenry County, IL Health Department in Efforts to Block the Release of the Names and Addresses of People who Test Positive for COVID-19
McHenry County, Illinois - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) filed a motion to intervene as a defendant in a case that seeks to prevent the release of the names and addresses of all individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 to the McHenry County Sheriff.
In the filing, LULAC argues that if the names or addresses of individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are shared with law enforcement officers, members of the Latino community will avoid seeking medical care for fear their information will be shared with law enforcement. Protecting the confidentiality of personal information is crucial to ensuring people will seek medical care and advancing public health goals, especially during a pandemic. The fear of personal information being disclosed to law enforcement officers creates an additional barrier to healthcare and will result in increased health disparities and possibly more COVID-19 related deaths in the Latino community.
“Turning over people’s personal information and putting it in the hands of law enforcement will discourage members of the Latino community from seeking medical care and being tested for COVID-19,” said LULAC President Domingo Garcia. “Without assurances that people’s names and addresses remain confidential, many people with symptoms or those recently exposed may refrain from seeking medical care in order to avoid testing positive and having their personal information provided to police. There is no legal reason or public health necessity for giving law enforcement American’s personal information and this practice only endangers our communities putting us at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19.”
“Latinos, including local LULAC members in McHenry County, live in fear that they will be mistreated by law enforcement officers if they test positive for coronavirus,” said Maggie Rivera, LULAC Illinois State Director. “Many individuals in these communities already fear that police will racially profile them, and a positive diagnosis only increases this fear of unfair treatment or targeting. Our community members also fear that if they are victims of a crime and have tested positive for COVID-19, they may not receive a prompt or adequate response by police. Spreading fear in our community will do nothing to mitigate the spread of this virus, it will only make it worse.”
The motion to intervene can be found here.
# # #About LULAC
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.