California Senate passes bill allowing state to keep details of COVID outbreaks secret

The California State Senate approved a bill late Friday evening that upholds the state’s ability to keep the details of workplace COVID-19 outbreaks secret, a win for business groups after key transparency clauses were slashed at the last minute.

AB 654 was revised days before the end of the legislative session Friday to erase a requirement that the California Department of Public Health publicize COVID outbreaks by location, contradicting the author’s stated purpose in drafting the bill and dealing a blow to employees, advocates and epidemiologists who have long argued that such information is essential to protecting workers.

The bill that passed 37-0 contained an urgency clause, meaning it would take effect immediately if signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“The bill now does not seem to be ensuring transparency, but rather going in the opposite direction — and ensuring that the public, local leaders and local health leaders are going to be in the dark in a way they really shouldn’t be,” said David Snyder, an attorney and executive director of the First Amendment Coalition who called its passage “very disappointing.”

DAWG SAYS: SO NOW THIS SO-CALLED PANDEMIC ISSUES ARE TO BE KEPT SECRET CAUSING MORE MISTRUST? THIS IS LUNACY.


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