Alabama releasing addresses of coronavirus patients to first responders

The Alabama Department of Public Health says it can do so, according to state law, to keep first responders aware and safe when they get called for help.

Posted: Apr 2, 2020 9:28 PM
Updated: Apr 2, 2020 10:32 PM

WAAY31 learned the addresses of people who test positive for coronavirus are being shared with 911 centers in Alabama. The Alabama Department of Public Health says it can do so, according to state law, to keep first responders aware and safe when they get called for help.

ADPH tells WAAY31 the addresses are stored in a secure database and given to the Alabama 911 board. We called the board, they tell us those addresses are updated daily and then sent to local 911 centers.

Dr. Karen Landers with ADPH says the addresses are not made available to the public. The dispatch centers can share only the address of a coronavirus patient with emergency medical services, fire departments, and law enforcement.

The Madison County 911 Center's CEO confirmed to us they have access to the list of addresses. Huntsville Emergency Medical Services say that information is made available to them and they notify everyone who responds to a call at one of the addresses.

Huntsville Police say they do not use the list nor have access to it. Their dispatchers do a questionnaire screening themselves, asking about symptoms and if anyone has been diagnosed with coronavirus.

The state says the purpose of this is to protect first responders, making sure they are aware if they go to a house where someone has coronavirus.

State officials are unsure if any other states also are doing this.

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