Wisconsin business groups sue to keep COVID lists secret

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Three business groups filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking to block Gov. Tony Evers’ administration from releasing the names of more than 1,000 businesses with employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, saying the release would blacklist those operations as the disease surges across the state.

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce along with the Muskego and New Berlin chambers of commerce filed the lawsuit in Waukesha County, a Republican stronghold. They allege that Evers is preparing to release on Friday a list of more than 1,000 businesses that have had two or more employees test positive in response to media requests.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Lloyd Carter issued an injunction blocking any release for five days pending a hearing.

WMC argues that the data is extrapolated from employee medical records that are private under state law. Releasing the information would violate the employees’ privacy and ruin the businesses’

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