Illinois kept details on nearly 2,600 COVID-19 outbreaks confidential

Multiple COVID-19 outbreaks in schools, workplaces and prisons across Illinois have not been made public, according to a report in USA Today.

The Illinois Department of Public Health does not release detailed information about COVID-19 outbreaks publicly, but internal statewide data shows almost 2,600 outbreaks occurred in the state from July to September. USA Today obtained the data from the Documenting COVID-19 project at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation in collaboration with the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

The Illinois health department said it is following state and federal laws to protect the identities of COVID-19 positive individuals by not releasing outbreak information publicly. The state does aim to make information available about the types of facilities and locations where outbreaks occur.

Three details from the Oct. 12 report:

1. The total number of COVID-19 cases at correctional facilities in Illinois was nearly double the figure reported by the Marshall Project and The Associated Press.

2. Among five meat packing plants in the state owned by Hormel, cases were double what was previously reported.

3. More than 100 elementary through high schools in Illinois reported COVID-19 cases.

Morea articles on data analytics:
Florida COVID-19 reporting stalled after lab submits 400,000 test results in 1 day: 3 details
Data error inflated COVID-19 cases in Missouri, state says: 4 details
Reporting errors inflated Arizona COVID-19 hospitalizations, state says


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