With passage of bill, Kansans can now opt out of contact tracing

Tracking Coronavirus

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Starting Friday, contact tracing after a coronavirus diagnosis could be harder to do in Kansas. While some say the Contact Tracing Privacy Act protects privacy, others say it could lead to an even greater health risk.

When a person tests positive for COVID-19, they often get placed with a contact tracer.  This shows who they had contact with before, during and after a diagnosis.

But, with Kansas lawmakers passing House Bill 2016, participation is now voluntary. Kansas has had nearly 27,000 confirmed cases and almost 350 deaths.

Still, the attorney general said this bill protects people’s privacy and civil liberties.

“What’s different now is the widespread scope of its use of hundreds of contact tracers being hired state by state,” AG Derek Schmidt said. “It’s an intrusive activity for those who are involved.”

Richond Owsley of Kansas City, Kan., disagrees.

“They need to be informed on everybody who’s been contacted with the [coronavirus], because it’s important and people are dying from it,” Owsley said.

This goes until May 1, 2021.

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