Editorial: More transparency needed on local virus response

The Durango Herald: We had gone quite a ways without a single death from COVID-19 in La Plata County when we discovered last weekend we had our first. Unfortunately – perhaps – that was all we were able to discover. The Herald reported it was an “adult resident” and said San Juan Basin Public Health had “not released more details about the individual.”

Then, on Monday morning, SJBPH Executive Director Liane Jollon, in what has become her weekly interview segment on KSUT, the public radio station, explained that SJBPH would not release “any demographic information” about the deceased “out of concern for the privacy of the family.”

The family of our first-in-county pandemic fatality is entitled to as much privacy as it wishes to maintain. The county resident could never be named, and we cannot imagine why anyone would insist otherwise. But any demographic information is a horse of another color.

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