Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Law shields targets of probe

June 14, 2012

DAVENPORT, IA — An Iowa law allowing public health officials to keep secret the name of a business involved in a disease investigation is putting business interests before public safety, according to the Sioux City Journal.

Johnson County and state health officials aren''t releasing the name of a facility where dozens of people were sickened, citing a state law that shields businesses that have cleaned up their act after an outbreak, the article stated.

"I just wish the name would be out there so others could know about this happening at a family attraction," said Courtney Evans of Blue Grass, Iowa, whose two young boys and husband fell ill from norovirus after a visit to the swim facility.

According to the article, the Quad-City Times and The Gazette of Cedar Rapids jointly filed a complaint with the Iowa Office of Citizens'' Aide about the health department’s refusal to release the name of the swim facility or provide key details about the investigation.

"The problem is that I have to obey the law," said State Epidemiologist Patricia Quinlisk.

"If people feel that is incorrect, they have to talk with their legislators about changing the law," Quinlisk added.

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