The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recently added COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 to the list of infectious diseases and circumstances relevant to notification of Emergency Response Employees (Implementation of Section 2695 (42 U.S.C. 300ff-131) Public Law 111-87: Infectious Diseases and Circumstances Relevant to Notification Requirements). Please note that under Section 2695, if an emergency response employee (ERE) has been exposed, the medical facility must provide the name of the infectious disease and the date on which the victim of the emergency was transported by the ERE to the facility. This does not violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).
Emergency response employees (ERE) are defined as: firefighters, law enforcement officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, funeral service practitioners and other individuals (including employees of legally organized and recognized volunteer organizations, without regard to whether such employees receive nominal compensation) who, in the course of professional duties, respond to emergencies in the geographic area involved.
The full guidance document can be found here.
In addition, health facilities are reminded that if a patient with COVID-19 dies, they must notify the funeral director PRIOR to the release of the deceased.
California Code, Health and Safety Code - HSC § 1797.188
(h) In the event of the demise of the person afflicted with the reportable communicable disease or condition, the health facility or county health officer shall notify the funeral director, charged with removing the decedent from the health facility, of the reportable communicable disease or condition prior to the release of the decedent from the health facility to the funeral director.