RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is releasing the names of nursing homes that have had a coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement reverses his earlier policy of withholding the information over privacy concerns. Northam announced Friday that he is directing the Virginia Department of Health to release the names on its website.

He says the widespread nature of the pandemic makes it less likely that releasing this information would violate someone’s privacy or limit cooperation with a public health investigation.

“These actions will help support long-term care facilities as they ease those restrictions, while keeping their residents safe and ensuring that the public gets accurate information on the spread of this virus in these facilities,” Northam said.

Republicans blasted Northam, saying he had the legal authority to release the names much earlier.

 

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