Health Department’s COVID-19 Records Should Be Open to Public
Participated in an amicus brief (with the Reporters Committee and other amici) filed with the Supreme Court of Wisconsin in Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce v. Evers. This case concerns the Wisconsin Department of Public Health’s plan to release the names of businesses employing at least 25 people where at least two employees have tested positive for COVID-19, or had close contacts that were investigated by contact tracers. The Department sought to release this information in response to public records requests last year. The Waukesha County Circuit Court denied motions to dismiss the case. However, the Court of Appeals reversed the lower court decision. This amicus brief, supporting Intervenor-Appellant Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, cites other jurisdictions where courts have held that third parties were unable to block disclosure of public records, and notes the great public interest in timely COVID-19 information.