Inslee Issues Contact Tracing Proclamation, Protects Personal Information

Submitted by Washington State Governor

Gov. Jay Inslee issued a proclamation July 30 related to the state’s contact tracing efforts and personal information protection.

Proclamation 20-64 exempts personally identifiable information collected by COVID-19 case investigators from public disclosure. The proclamation does not provide additional exemptions for employees or volunteers who are conducting the contact tracing work, as the Public Records Act already exempts many types of personal information relating to public employees and volunteers.

The success of the response to the COVID-19 epidemic depends in part on the free flow of information and individuals’ willingness to share information and cooperate with public health authorities,” Inslee said. “Ensuring the protection of a person’s personally identifiable information may determine whether that person will fully cooperate with COVID-19 case investigators and contact tracers.”

“While we believe that COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing information, and the personally identifiable information that is gathered as a part of that work, is already exempt under the Public Records Act, we need certainty because ensuring the protection of a person’s personally identifiable information is critical to our COVID-19 efforts,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman.

The proclamation will expire on August 29.

Read the full proclamation here.

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