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Maine CDC Proposes Rule Change to Restrict Information

PORTLAND, Maine - The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has proposed a rule change that would provide the agency with more leeway to withhold information regarding the locations of communicable disease outbreaks.
The Portland Press Herald reports that the proposal comes a year after the newspaper sued the CDC after they denied a request for information about chicken pox outbreaks during the 2014-15 school year.
The CDC's position is that this sort of transparency could jeopardize personal privacy because "indirect information'' could lead to the identification of those affected.
Sigmund Schutz, the Press Herald's attorney, says the new regulation directly conflicts with state open records laws. He says the newspaper plans to lodge official comments objecting to the change during the public comment period.
CDC spokesman John Martins declined to comment.