Nearly 3,000 more people affected by California hospital's data breach

The California Department of State Hospitals recently discovered that an employee data breach uncovered in February affected about 2,952 more individuals than initially believed. 

The department on Feb. 25 discovered that an employee who had access to Atascadero (Calif.) State Hospital data servers as part of their IT job responsibilities had improperly viewed the private health information of about 1,415 patients and 617 employees. Patient and employee data exposed in the breach included names, COVID-19 test results and information needed for COVID-19 tracking. 

The additional data involved in the breach belonged to about 1,735 current and former hospital employees as well as 1,217 hospital job applicants who never became employees, according to an April 5 news release. The former employee allegedly improperly accessed these individuals' addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, birth dates and health information related to employment.

The department discovered the breach as part of its annual review of employees' data access rights and said it has placed the employee on administrative leave until it is finished with the investigation. 

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