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Disease & Disclosure Preserving Privacy in the Pandemic

Q. If a resident in our building tests positive for COVID-19, or is self-quarantined, should we tell the other residents and staff?

A. According to Peter Massa, an attorney with Manhattan-based law firm Armstrong Teasdale, "Residents should be notified if the board or management receives notification that someone tests positive for COVID-19 in the building. However the name and apartment number of the resident should not be disclosed to the other residents. Similarly, if a board learns someone has decided to self-quarantine, the board should not disclose this. People self-quarantine for many reasons, and may not pose an immediate or imminent danger.  Regardless of what the residents are told, they must continue to act appropriately: wash hands with soap often, use disinfectant on surfaces, and keep hands away from their mouth, nose and eyes."

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Comments

  • Regarding the question on Disease & Disclosure: I understand the privacy of the sick person and medical information but as a resident/property owner in the building, does the federal "Right to Know" law come into effect? This is a potentially deadly disease, many of the owners in the building are elderly 60+ years. Should the owners be informed if this person was active in the building prior to knowing of positive test? If the person may have contacted it in the building or was traveling? Does the person have an auto in the valet owned garage, in which not only exposing the the valet employees but all the autos they would have had to move to get your auto? My wife and I have followed rules, social distancing, and limited leaving our unit, only for essentials and prescriptions for the past 14 days. We do our best, but would be very disappointed if we git sick due to using the laundry room or used our vehicle. I believe the condominium boards have a duty to update the owners on a regular basis instead of hiding behind a HIPPA act.