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HIPAA impact with statewide mask mandate

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(WAOW) -- With the statewide mask mandate going into effect Saturday, questions arise about exceptions if you have a medical condition. Health experts are helping explain the impact of HIPAA.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or 'HIPAA' was put in place is 1996. It's a federal law protecting patient health information. With that, businesses are not required to ask those without a mask if they have a health condition.

While this is a new normal for all, local health experts ask for everyone to be gentle with one another.

"Anytime you change a new behavior it takes a little while to get used to it and so we need to be gentle but remember those masks can make a huge difference in preventing the spread," Judy Burrows with the Marathon County Health Department said.

The emergency order is in effect Aug. 1- Sept. 28.

Neena Pacholke

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