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How parents will be told if their children's school has an outbreak of the coronavirus

Each school district is allowed to distribute information on any exposure or outbreak, should they choose to do so.

BOISE, Idaho — For the first time since COVID-19 found its way to the Treasure Valley, doctors at St. Luke's diagnosed a child with a rare but serious illness called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C)

The development comes as school-aged kids begin to trickle back to school, whether that's in-person or online. For those returning to their physical classrooms, it's possible there will be clusters of coronavirus outbreaks.

If that does happen, the public will not be notified of the specific school.

"When you have a population as Idaho and you get into these public schools that really are not that big, it really is a violation of some of those individual HIPAA rights to release information specific to those schools," Brandon Atkins with Central District Health said Tuesday.

Public health agencies like CDH cannot give out specific information because those infected could be easily identified.

"Someone at this school went there and you automatically have narrowed it down to a very very small subset in our population," he said.

However, each school district is allowed to distribute that information should they choose to do so and will work with their public health districts to notify those potentially exposed to the virus.

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