Tennessee refuses to release information about COVID-19 cases in schools

Meghan Mangrum:

Tennessee will not publicly report the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases linked to schools despite Gov. Bill Lee’s previous commitment to create such a plan, state officials said Tuesday.

On Aug. 4, Lee said his administration was in the process of creating a plan that would allow schools to share information about the number of COVID-19 cases in their facilities.

The governor’s commitment came just days after officials with the state Department of Health said the agency would not ask for and collect data on the number of cases and deaths at each school.

“The real challenge is to provide as much information as possible to provide for transparency and to give information that is important to the public but continue to provide and adhere to privacy restrictions that FERPA and HIPAA require,” Lee said during a news briefing Tuesday, citing federal health and education privacy laws. “And that’s a balance.”