In short, no, it is not. Due to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) being applicable only to health professionals and organizations (ie hospitals), the Act does not cover regular businesses. Therefore, it is not a HIPAA violation for a business to ask if you have been vaccinated.
The CDC recently stated that all fully vaccinated individuals are free to resume activities without a mask, staging on their official website unless local laws require: “Totally Vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing masks or taking them away physically, except where required by the federal. , State, local, tribal, or regional laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. “
This update questions the consumer’s right to privacy. However, if you choose not to wear a mask, a business is legally allowed to ask for proof of vaccination. Although the vaccine card is considered a protected document under HIPAA, all non-HIPAA organizations are permitted to ask for the document.
What are the experts saying
Kayate Spector-Baghdadi, a medical ethics researcher at the University of Michigan, recently stated: “HIPAA regulates only certain types of institutions – your physician, hospital, or others in the healthcare field. This is the average person or business outside of health care But does not apply. It never gives personal protection against anyone ever disclosing their health information. “
On the other hand, Carmen Rowe, a legal analyst at KHOU, has said that it will ultimately be the courts’ decision if businesses can ask for vaccination cards to serve individuals without masks.
Roe explained: “I think it runs a very serious risk of interfering with federal privacy laws that are on the books, which are ones that have never been tested by these vaccinations. Once we have If a test case is found, I think things are not going well for any business that tries to force someone to submit that information before entering.
Businesses That Have Made Mask Requirements Easier
With the CDC’s new masking guidelines, many businesses have already given up their mask requirements for those who have been fully vaccinated.
These businesses include Walmart, Target, Costco, Trader Joe’s and Starbucks. However, stores such as Apple and Walgreens are still evaluating the new guidelines and say they may update their policies in the future.
Although these stores have changed their facade requirements, you still have to follow local laws if they state otherwise.
Will businesses ask for proof of vaccination?
Previously listed businesses have stated that they will not require proof of vaccination for not wearing masks. They will rely on an honor system, trusting that customers who are shopping without a mask have in fact been fully vaccinated.
This may change in the future depending on the “real” usage of the honor system.
Where do we still wear masks?
The CDC has stated that some places on their website still require masks: “If you” To travel, You should still take action Protect yourself and others. You will still be Wearing a mask is mandatory On planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation, which are traveling within or outside the United States, and in airports and stations such as American transportation centers.
Healthcare settings still require masks, even if you have fully vaccinated. You must wear a mask when entering the hospital.
Additionally, all ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft require masks for all individuals regardless of vaccination. Uber’s security communications chief Andrew Hasbun said, “The need for Uber masks remains. We keep asking that riders and drivers wear masks on their noses and mouths during the entire journey and that the riders sit in the back seat. If Drivers can cancel trips even if a rider has not worn a mask.
CDC guidelines are always updated, so be sure to keep up to date with the latest changes. Do you think the honor system will work? Let us know in the comments below!