Putnam County Sheriff Eddie Farris wants first responders to know the names of those who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Farris said the Tennessee Department of Health nor local health departments will release this information.
“That’s something that by law they should be doing,” Farris said. “They need to be doing that. We need to know when we’re going into these places. You’re dealing with an individual. But if if the records is already known, but we certainly have that right as first responders to do that.”
State Health Officials have cited HIPPA in the limits to information provided in recent days. For example, the state had to work through HIPPA and federal guidelines so county-by-county deaths could be reported. That changed Tuesday.
“I’m not sure why that’s not been done yet,” Farris said. “I think I think they’re working on that hopefully as we speak to get that resolved at least. That’s something that I’ve been concerned about for the last two or three days for our deputies.”
Meantime, Farris said he does not expect enforcement of the Governor’s stay-at-home order to be a major issue in Putnam County. Farris and all local law enforcement received guidelines from the governor’s office Friday prior to the execution of Executive Order 23.
“Most people are abiding by what’s been asked of them today already,” Farris said. “So I don’t really think there’s gonna be an issue here. The enforcement is really more of asking to, you know, stay at places and not to do the things that they’ve outlined about not going places and they’ll stop things.”
At his press conference Thursday, Lee focused entirely on enforcement among businesses not following the order. He did not mention citizens who failed to follow the order.
For Ferris and most law enforcement, it is new ground.
“This is just something that we don’t normally run across,” Farris said.