Reliable contact tracing is a fundamental requirement for successfully re-opening the state without allowing coronavirus to spread. To do this, people must be willing to share detailed information about their activities with contact tracers, usually from the government or a medical organization. Understandably, many people have some concerns about sharing this information – one of these concerns was some uncertainty over whether their information could become public, once shared.
To address this specific issue, Inslee has issued a proclamation declaring that all information gathered for this purpose is exempt from any Public Records requests.
Unfortunately, another way people have reacted to the uncertainty and hardships created by the pandemic has been to threaten and attack public health officials and facilities. Inslee adds a reminder in the proclamation that this is a crime, along with setting criminal penalties for anyone who should leak the information now being protected:
- It is a crime to intimidate a public servant and violators may be subject to criminal penalties pursuant to RCW 9A.76.180
- Violators of this order may be subject to criminal penalties pursuant to RCW 43.06.220(5).