South Carolina refuses to say where COVID vaccine is going

North Carolina residents know exactly which hospitals will get doses first from the state’s initial supply of coronavirus vaccines. N.C. officials on Thursday released a list of 53 medical centers and health care systems that will soon receive shipments of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, which federal regulators are expected to approve for emergency use…

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Los Angeles County Violates Public Records Act, Citing COVID-19

The Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health violated state law by failing to honor two separate public records requests filed by the Los Feliz Ledger during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to those well-versed in the law.  Following a spate of coronavirus outbreaks at congregate living facilities, Ledger Publisher Allison B. Cohen filed a California…

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Texas AG rules HHSC should release COVID-19 nursing home data

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office ruled the Texas Health and Human Services Commission should disclose most of its data on COVID-19 in nursing homes to the public, according to a July 6 ruling. Paxton’s office rejected most of the arguments the commission made to conceal COVID-19 outbreak data related to nursing homes, according to…

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Georgia health agency stymies requests for public records during pandemic

In the first four months of COVID-19 when Georgia saw more than 84,000 confirmed cases and nearly 3,000 deaths, journalists, advocates and lawyers submitted more than 40 records requests for emails about the Department of Public Health’s response to the pandemic. The requesters sought emails regarding the state’s allocation of resources, Gov. Brian Kemp’s April…

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Knight FOI Litigation Fund supports another pandemic-related open meetings lawsuit

        July 6, 2020 For Immediate Release Contact: Daniel Bevarly Executive Director, NFOIC dbevarly@nfoic.org 352-294-7082 Another instance where the pandemic has been used by a public body to validate holding a public meeting without the public (17 meetings actually) has resulted in another lawsuit. Although COVID-19 has created challenges for state and…

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Why the secrecy? Florida and other states slow to reveal Covid-19 spending | TBT Editorial

Taxpayers are spending billions to confront the coronavirus on the front lines ― buying medical supplies, protective equipment and other essential gear. But even months into the pandemic, many states including Florida are withholding details about what they’re buying and who they’re paying, according to a new, exhaustive survey by the Associated Press. This secrecy only invites…

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Transparency, media literacy measures in Colorado axed in purge of pre-pandemic state legislation

Two transparency bills died Tuesday during a purge of proposals left over from before the coronavirus pandemic forced a suspension of the 2020 Colorado legislative session. Meeting for the first time since Mar. 11, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4-1 to kill a bipartisan measure that would have required the state’s judicial branch to publish Colorado Supreme Court and…

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Alabama Council Members Debate Use of Online City Meetings

The Alabama governor’s emergency order allowing teleconferenced meetings in limited situations during the COVID-19 pandemic is being abused by the council majority, according to at least one Decatur, Ala., councilman. Gov. Kay Ivey’s order waives portions of the Open Meetings Act by allowing teleconferenced meetings, but only for COVID-19-related business and as “necessary to perform…

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