Pro-Maskers, you gonna keep wearing them?



What Information is Protected

Protected Health Information. The Privacy Rule protects all “individually identifiable health information” held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral. The Privacy Rule calls this information "protected health information (PHI)."12

“Individually identifiable health information” is information, including demographic data, that relates to:

  • the individual’s past, present or future physical or mental health or condition,
  • the provision of health care to the individual, or
  • the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to the individual,

and that identifies the individual or for which there is a reasonable basis to believe it can be used to identify the individual.13 Individually identifiable health information includes many common identifiers (e.g., name, address, birth date, Social Security Number).

The Privacy Rule excludes from protected health information employment records that a covered entity maintains in its capacity as an employer and education and certain other records subject to, or defined in, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. §1232g.

A 3rd party, once they start viewing or recording heath data becomes either a contractor or a clearinghouse under the rules.

I used to do remote IT work and did a ton of work in health, the amount of HIPAA training and “Ceritifcations” I needed to do that were ridiculous. Things that had nothing to do with peoples actual health. HIPAA is NOT an easy thing to work around.

(Ethan) #42

My point is that it is not a crime for a company to ask you whether you are vaccinated. If you disclose the information and they don’t record it, there is no protection.

(Ethan) #43

I’m also trained in HIPAA and other standards. Clearing houses process health data on behalf of other organizations. They don’t request it themselves. If a business “requires” that you be vaccinated to enter, and you enter, there is no protection of anything. Moreover, vaccine passports don’t violate HIPAA under many opinion. It hasn’t been litigated yet though. The idea is that you download the passport and provide the information; a medical professional is not providing it. A store can refuse service for failure to provide passport validation.

(KCKO, KCFO) #44

Correct. I worked as a business associate (IT side of things) for many years and had to retest on HIPAA rules every year, if a new account came in, it would mean yet another test.

You can discuss your health with anyone you care to, the rules are about the records and medical professionals and their business associates disclosing things without your permissions.


Verbally no, but we know that’s not how it’s gonna go down, it’s gonna be show me your vaccine card, which doing so is a disclosure of a health record containing PII.


Meanwhile we are ordering t-shirts saying we are vaccinated :smiley: (It’s a fun thing, there are a very funny vet youtuber who happens to make videos about Covid too, I already have a t-shirt with parasites and whatnots drawin in heart shape :D)

Yep, this topic so nicely shows the difference between people and their attitude.

(Ethan) #47

If they aren’t recording/copying the card, they can do that. In other words, no card, no entry is fine as a policy. If the store is validating each time on entry and not copying the card, that should also be ok. They can deny entry to anybody who doesn’t show a card.

(Old Baconian) #48

I just heard that in Connecticut there was one (1) case of flu this year, apparently because of the Covid precautions.


You’re making an assumption on that one. Private businesses can do a lot as they’re not the government, but they can’t just do anything they want either. Forcing people to disclose a health/vaccination status to enter wouldn’t be tolerated in any other instance, it most likely won’t be in this one either.

Luckily for me I live in a pretty sane-ish state where I don’t think this will be a problem. So far everywhere I’ve gone today I’ve walked right past the “must have mask to enter” signs and nobody has said a thing, I walked in to see other unmasked people going about their lives. I think most place are going to want people to wear them for a while but at least here between the Federal and now State removing the mask mandates I don’t think they’re going to pick a fight with people over it either. All thing “passport” and showing proof if it even ever starts is just going to postpone going back to normal life. We absolutely MUST go back to normal life.

(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #50

The new normal may not be the old normal…

Once C19 stops killing people in significant numbers, That will be normal…


True, but people have a great ability to forget things very quickly!

(Old Baconian) #52

My sister believes that going around masked may well be the new normal. We’ll have to see.


Luckily I think she has a 99% chance of being wrong on that one. States have been dropping mask mandates for months, now it’s federally gone, many other states in the last 72hrs have dropped theirs, the majority of people wore them under protest, there without question will be some holdouts that have the mask equivalent of being institutionalized, but even that will self correct soon. USA today did an article on just that, that for the people who were afraid of COVID that mentally the mask was what gave them control of an controllable situation, another thing I read compared it to a little kid and their safety net of holding a teddy bear.

I predict in pretty short time it’ll be the people still in masks getting all the weird looks. Probably the assumption that somethings wrong with them and that’s why their still wearing one.

(Ethan) #54

I find that not a good situation. The state may be sane, but it isn’t a compassionate one. I mentioned it before–my concern is for the wellbeing of kids like my son who can’t be vaccinated in a world where everybody just chooses to not care about them and not wear a mask indoors. I understand the concerns about a passport–especially for a vaccine that does not have full approval. I actually don’t really support the use of such a thing because of that. I think we can just tolerate putting a piece of fabric over our faces for just a few more months. That really isn’t much to ask. Normal is a great goal. Putting more lives at risk and preventing them from being able to even do things like go to a grocery store is a big deal. If you can’t wait the little time more, maybe something is really wrong with you.

(Laura) #55

I will most likely continue to wear a mask while shopping or in a doctor’s office. Once we return to the office, we still have to be masked, for now. If I am outside, I don’t wear one because I stay away from others. I am now fully vaccinated, plus I had Covid in January. I did get pneumonia from it and was quite ill.

I may want to wear one in the future during flu season, so I have extra protection.

(bulkbiker) #56

And how many cases of COVID due to the COVID precautions?

(bulkbiker) #57

What do you think will happen in a “few more months” that will change the situation?

Plus of course do you really think masks are effective against infection… the data from the unmasked against masked US states implies that they make precisely zero difference.


The problem is you’re extremely biased on this one and understandable, but the reality is the only reason you were wearing a mask to begin with is because that’s what the experts at the CDC said you should do. Fauci turning into a politician and changing his story ever 5 mins aside, the CDC is very good at what they do. So why is it you don’t trust them now when they say you can take it off? You know better than the CDC? On the state not being compassionate… how do you figure? Like the CDC, My Governor, although a moron, is an MD, I think his decisions are slightly more informed than many of his equivalents when it comes to health issues.

Don’t do the mask shaming nonsense where you imply that because I accept that a piece of cloth on my face not sealed isn’t protecting me, that’s fact not opinion. To push it further and insinuate I don’t care about kids because I don’t want to wear a mask that does nothing, aside from the fact the CDC says I don’t need to anymore is just insane. You’re making up your own reality and then shaming people who disagree.

Midway through last year Fauci said without quesiton it would take years to prove these vaccines safe, that’s how the process works, we all know that. THEN him and his families lives got threatened and all of a sudden they were safe. We were told by the CDC they were less worried about the kids in schools because they seems to not get/spread like adult did… THEN the mask mandates got dropped and the vaccines were OK’d for slightly older kids and now the young ones who haven’t been a concern in months are “super spreaders”. This is ALL about forcing vaccines on as many people as they can and installing the “vaccinate or live in a mask” mindset. This is all politics. See all of this for what it is.


This seems unnecessary. Masks are neutral for some folks but not for everyone. Some people have a real problem with wearing them for long stretches (one of my nephews is developing breathing issues, for instance) and there’s starting to be concerning data on social and linguistic development for young children. And I know that you’ve probably seen science saying how they’re helpful but there’s a lot that shows the opposite (in fact very much the opposite - that mask use contributes a false sense of safety from folks who are at high risk from Covid). I would point you to a tweet from Harvard epidemiologist Martin Kurldorff on this but it was deleted (maybe because it doesn’t align with the CDC messaging du jour).

Also “a little more time” is pretty vague. Is there a particular number/end goal that you have in mind? The goals have been moved- on masks and just about everything else - throughout this crisis, which started with “two weeks to flatten the curve” and in some places seems now to be Covid Zero.


(As an aside, Fauci testified last week that just over half of NIH employees have been vaccinated at this point, and Marks said the numbers at the FDA were similar. Which is … interesting.)

[edited for accuracy b/c I originally said that Walensky said just over half of her agency employees, but actually she just said that the CDC has been encouraging its employees to get vaccinated through town halls and vaccination seminars. She doesn’t know how many have actually gotten the shots.]