From The Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM — Jefferson County Health Department’s Dr. Mark Wilson told the Birmingham City Council on Tuesday morning that the department has created a database that displays COVID-19 case numbers by zip code.
The move to publish this data was a long time in the making, Wilson said. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) prohibited the release of such data in an effort to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without a patient’s consent or knowledge, but the Jefferson County Health Department was able to find a way to share the data while remaining in compliance with HIPAA laws.
City Council Meeting 6.2.20
Posted by Birmingham City Council on Tuesday, June 2, 2020
What the department has done is to include Jefferson County zip codes that total at least 20,000 people and contain more than 10 positive COVID-19 cases. That allows the release of the data to remain compliant with federal HIPPA guidelines.