Linn County supervisors are claiming that HIPPA laws prevented them from notifying their own employees for nearly one day after learning about a possible case of coronavirus at the Linn County Courthouse in Cedar Rapids.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that supervisor Stacey Walker was notified Monday morning that an employee had been sent home with COVID-19 symptoms. Walker then informed two other supervisors and they told a cleaning crew to deep clean the area where the employee had worked in the courthouse. But an email reviewed by The Gazette shows that supervisors did not tell county employees of the issue until 5:35 p.m. on Tuesday evening.
The courthouse is closed to the public but is still the workplace for county employees as well as elected county judges and attorneys. Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden said that he is upset at how the situation has been handled. Several supervisors told The Gazette that they were limited in what information they could share due to HIPPA. They stated that they were in contact with the county’s legal and human resources departments as well as Linn County Public Health, to learn what they could share.