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

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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.

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