Since May, to fight the spread of COVID-19, public health officials in New York State have undertaken contact tracing efforts. Health care workers—with the assistance of COVID-positive New Yorkers—identify and notify people who may have been exposed so that they might isolate themselves and stem the spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing is an important weapon in the fight against this global pandemic.
This essential work requires trust between contact tracers and people who have been exposed to the virus. For all New Yorkers, that trust requires confidence that sensitive information will not be shared outside of those agencies charged with protecting public health. That trust is especially important for Black and migrant communities that have been disproportionately affected by both the virus and systemic bias.
Understanding the critical importance of trust, New York State’s legislature unanimously passed important legislation (A10500C/S8450C) barring police and immigration authorities from accessing contact tracing information. The bill also bars use in court or legislative proceedings of contact tracing information that has been improperly obtained.
It's time for Governor Cuomo to join state lawmakers in making sure that fear doesn't exacerbate the COVID-19 crisis by chilling critical trust and cooperation. Tell Governor Cuomo to sign A10500C/S8450C into law.
Source: EFF; Ask Governor Cuomo to Support a Healthy New York by Protecting New Yorkers’ Privacy Get involved: https://act.eff.org/