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Health and Social Services corrects internal privacy issue

June 22, 2020, Simcoe, ON – Haldimand-Norfolk Health and Social Services has identified and corrected an internal privacy issue regarding individuals who took a COVID-19 test prior to May 19, 2020.

Security access on a file containing names, health card numbers and test results was inadvertently made broader than required, allowing a small number of employees who otherwise would not have had access to the file to view the information.

The issue was discovered by a supervisor, and immediate action was taken to restrict access to only those staff members who require it for the performance of their duties.

No action is required by anyone who may have been impacted.

The information was never available to the public, and was only ever available to staff in Health and Social Services and Norview Lodge. These staff members frequently deal with sensitive information, and are all covered by confidentiality policies.

Staff in Health and Social Services and the IT department are working together to review the situation and strengthen the protocols already in place to ensure staff only have access to the information they require for their duties.

Health and Social Services takes its obligations under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004, seriously. Notification of this privacy issue has occurred to the Information and Privacy Commission of Ontario. Affected individuals have the right to contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario about this matter at 1-800-387-0073 or [email protected].

While no action is required, those with concerns can call the Health Unit’s COVID-19 line at 519-426-6170 ext. 9999.