Judge rules against news agencies over nursing home stats

The state of Arizona doesn't have to publicly reveal the number of coronavirus cases and deaths among residents of nursing homes, long-term facilities and retirement homes, a state judge ruled on Friday.

The ruling marked a loss for news organizations that had sued to get the information. Judge Christopher A. Coury sided with the administration of Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, which had argued the information is private under several state provisions. The lawsuit was filed May 5 against the state's department of health.

The news organizations weren't seeking individuals' confidential health records. They sought weekly updates on the number of residents in such facilities who have been transferred to or from an acute care facility, along with information regarding the availability of personal protective equipment. Coury did not rule on the plaintiffs' request to know how much personal protective equipment is available, setting a future court date instead.

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