Ohio Senate Rejects Measure Requiring Written Permission For Contact Tracing

Jun 4, 2020

The Ohio Senate has rejected an Ohio House bill requiring people with COVID-19 give consent to contact tracing in writing. 

The measure now goes to a conference committee. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.  

A dozen Senators voted for the amendment, which was attached to a bill that would shield 911 operators’ personal information from public records requests. Republican Senate President Larry Obhof was among them, saying it’s important to protect privacy and ensure that people participating in contact tracing know it’s voluntary.

“But I recognize that there was a broad difference of opinion on whether the language that the House used was as good as it could be.”

Republicans have raised privacy concerns about contact tracing, which has been used in other states and countries to contain COVID-19 and other outbreaks. Changes possible in conference committee include allowing consent over the phone or limiting this proposal to just the current pandemic.