County Health Department Hides Behind HIPAA as Excuse Not to Provide Even Zip Codes of Coronavirus Patients

From the McHenry County Health Department:

Residents should consider COVID-19 widespread

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) is encouraging all, regardless of their health and age, to continue to reduce their risk of COVID-19 exposure by limiting outings and avoiding gatherings.

On March 10, MCDH announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19. It is unknown how the individual came into contact with COVID-19, which indicated the virus had already begun to circulate throughout the county.

Since then, the U.S. Centers for Disease Contol has categorized transmission of COVID-19 throughout Illinois as widespread. 

“We understand the county has over 20 different cities and towns, but we really want everyone to understand that the virus is not specific to one town or geographical region,” said Public Health Administrator Melissa Adamson.

“We don’t want anyone to put their guard down and carry a false sense of security because we don’t know how or when some of our cases were initially exposed.” 

MCDH is committed to protecting the privacy of all patients as outlined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

We want to continue to remain transparent during an unprecedented time and provide the public information about COVID-19 in McHenry County.

However, we are careful not to include information that would lead to the identification of specific patients.

We extend this protection to everyone, and ask that all interested parties respect the privacy of others in the same way.

MCDH maintains a count of the confirmed cases in McHenry County on its COVID-19 website. The confirmed case count is updated on the website daily by 5 p.m.

If you suspect you have COVID-19:

  • Isolate yourself from others for a minimum of 7 days after symptoms appear
  • Wait at least 72 hours to end isolation after you are fever-free and feeling well (without fever-reducing medication).
  • Call your healthcare provider if you are sick and your symptoms are worsening.

For more information please visit or  For general questions about COVID-19, call the IDPH hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email

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Transparent this is not.


County Health Department Hides Behind HIPAA as Excuse Not to Provide Even Zip Codes of Coronavirus Patients — 15 Comments

  1. Does an illegal Alien get the HIPPA protection?

    Then there is this news, seems pretty funny to me:

    Mexican protesters block Americans from crossing the border – and pledge to do it again – to prevent the spread of coronavirus

    Protesters blocked the crossing point of Nogales, between Arizona and Mexico

    They demanded that all Americans coming to Mexico be tested for coronavirus.

  2. Really?

    Mexican authorities have faced criticism for their blase approach to the virus, with one governor even boasting that poor people are ‘immune’ to it.

    Luis Miguel Barbosa claimed in an online broadcast that wealthy people have so-far been the main victims of the virus.

    ‘If you’re rich you’re at risk, but if you’re poor, no, well us poor, we are immune,’ he said.

    Meanwhile Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador has claimed that the country will be spared by divine intervention while brandishing two amulets that he claimed would ward off the disease.

    He has resisted calls to close bars and restaurants, urging people to go out while orgnaising rallies where he has kissed babies and shaken hands.

  3. If they were so worried about HIPAA then they shouldn’t even acknowledge there are cases in the county…

    What a bunch of buffoons!

  4. Don’t forget, this is, above all, a xenophobia-racism-a-palooza sunshine blog, and no pandemic will change that. Stay tuned…tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock, hug your neighbor, tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock, meeeeeoooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwww…

  5. Thank you MC Blog for looking into this.

    Now it seems even worse when a response comes from a Public Health Administrator standing firm on their silence on the matter.

    A zip code isnt quite like a persons name and their medical records.

    We’re doing our part, why cant they help a little more on the local level.

    Whatever, thats why Govt entities arent always trusted.

  6. Does the HIPPA law specifically forbid the use of zip codes to list quantities of patients with any and all kinds of health issues? Or only the Chinese Virus?

    See below paragraph from Hipaa website

    “Serious Threat to Health or Safety. Covered entities may disclose protected health information that they believe is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to a person or the public, when such disclosure is made to someone they believe can prevent or lessen the threat (including the target of the threat). Covered entities may also disclose to law enforcement if the information is needed to identify or apprehend an escapee or violent criminal.40”

    Would disclosure of ZIP or city/town HELP to “prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat”?

    Somebody needs to show this to Administrator Melissa Adamson and also to Chairman Franks.

  7. They can’t give you any information because they made it all up out of whole cloth. The only patients they have are the ones that have caught the contagious fear.

  8. This is total bull crap.

    A zip code covers many people – – a zip code is not assigned to each individual person!

  9. >can’t give out uniquely identifying information of individuals
    >can’t give out a zipcode

    ok bureaucrat

  10. Perhaps there are so many illegal aliens they don’t want us to know about it?

  11. Han, you are right!

    Sanctuary State is wondrous!

    Until your young daughter is molested, your elderly parents are killed in a burglary ‘gone bad’ , your wife killed by a drunk driver and your son is supplied opioids or heroin from a nice illegal dealer.

    We do not need them.

    They are criminals.

    They must go!

  12. You understand it’s in all the zip code right?

    Unless you had checkpoints stopping cars and people publishing a list of where it was on say Tuesday doesn’t help you much as someone has carried it somewhere else already.

    So it’s not hiding behind Hippa Laws, publishing a zip code would give people a false sense of protection and is a waste of time.

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