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Chesterfield Schools mistakenly release names of students sick with COVID

Posted at 5:30 PM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 11:26:33-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- The names of hundreds of Chesterfield County students and school staff who tested positive for COVID-19 were mistakenly made accessible.

The names were sent as part of a contract tracing spreadsheet to a person who'd requested those documents in a Freedom of Information Act request.

Officials said the person notified school leaders and destroyed the spreadsheet.

School leaders said the mistake was caused by a software error and they're currently reviewing other redacted FOIA-related documents.

"We are in the process of reaching out to the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Privacy Policy Office for additional guidance. We will be in contact with affected families as appropriate," Chesterfield County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty wrote in an email to Chesterfield families. "We are sorry that this technical error occurred, and already have taken appropriate steps to change our practice on how information is redacted moving forward."