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Asking to see COVID-19 vaccination card doesn’t violate law

How can companies monitor who has the vaccine and who doesn’t? Does that not go against HIPAA when people are asked to show their card?


The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, is meant to protect people’s private medical information, but it doesn’t apply in all situations.

In general, HIPAA applies in medical fields, so it covers doctors and other health care professionals, hospitals, insurance companies and other related organizations, according to legal experts.

Experts say a business that isn’t health care-related isn’t violating HIPAA by asking to see a customer or employee’s COVID-19 vaccination card.

On May 13, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer have to wear masks in most indoor settings.

The Oregon Health Authority responded by issuing interim guidance that requires businesses and faith institutions to check the vaccination status of people before allowing them inside without masks.

Oregon is the only state telling businesses to check people’s COVID-19 cards. Other states are using the honor system, or they don’t have mask mandates.

Despite the Oregon rule, many businesses in the Rogue Valley are either going by the honor system or still requiring everyone to wear masks.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.