Discovering that one of your employees has a confirmed case of COVID-19 puts you into a dilemma. Under public health guidelines, employers are supposed to report the case to provincial and local health officials and notify persons with whom the infected worker had close contact within the past 48 hours of their own potential exposure. However, the fact that an employee has COVID-19 is privacy protected information that you’re not allowed to disclose without consent. Solution: You’re allowed to disclose the employee’s case without consent as long as the disclosure:
- Serves a legitimate COVID-19 infection control purpose;
- Includes only the PHI necessary to accomplish that infection control purpose; and
- Doesn’t cast a stigma or subject the person to discrimination.
Here’s the kind of discrete notice you can post to put workers and other workplace occupants on notice of a confirmed COVID-19 case in the facility without violating the infected employee’s privacy or setting off a riot.