Cook County Board Votes To Release COVID-19 Patient Addresses To First Responders – CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County commissioners voted Thursday to release the addresses of confirmed COVID-19 patients to first responders. 

Commissioners voted 9-7 with one abstention for the resolution to share the addresses as a safety measure for healthcare workers, first responders and lawmakers.

Commissioner Scott Britton, who sponsored the resolution, said he had been contacted by a number of suburban police departments, fire departments, village managers and village presidents all saying they wanted more information to help first responders as they respond to residences.

He said the information included would be addresses only, not the names of individuals diagnosed or exposed.

“The resolution itself is limited in a number of different ways to try to address the concerns of multiple different groups who have shared their various questions about this resolution,” he said.

The information would be shared through the Public Safety Answering Point system, which Britton said is a confidential system that is not shared publicly.

The resolution would only last 60 days with information being purged after that time, and the measure would have to be renewed by a majority vote by the board.

During the meeting Britton showed a photo of a first responder in full personal protective equipment, saying to suit up like that on every call “is a challenge they cannot meet.”

After the measure passed, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said she was “profoundly disappointed.”

Thursday night Mayor Lori Lightfoot took to Twitter to agree.

“To my great astonishment and disappointment, nine members of the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to capitulate to ignorance and bigotry by voting to force the disclosure of the addresses of every patient who has tested positive for COVID-19,” she wrote.

Lightfoot went on to say the measure is “under the cynical guise of public safety.”

“We will never allow this to become law in Chicago,” she wrote. “This is a terrible decision. The people responsible should be ashamed and the rest of us outraged.”

Britton said 35 states allow the addresses of COVID-19 patients to be shared with first responders, and 10 states allow for the individual identities to be shared.

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