Walz signs executive order on information sharing to protect first responders

Gov. Tim Walz on Friday signed an executive order regarding information sharing in an effort to help protect first responders in Minnesota.

Executive Order 20-34 directs Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm to develop a protocol to share information between MDH, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, 911 dispatchers and first responders while safeguarding patient privacy.

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The order will allow limited information to be disclosed from DPS to dispatchers and first responders when a positive COVID-19 case has been identified and is still contagious at a call for service.

However, in compliance with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, there are strict prohibitions against sharing the information beyond those who have an emergent need to know it and safeguards have been put in place to prevent abuse of the data.