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Johanna Sheehe, with Sheehe & Associates in Miami.  Courtesy photo Johanna Sheehe, with Sheehe & Associates in Miami. Courtesy photo

Is a statement falsely advising that a person tested positive for COVID-19 defamatory? As COVID-19 continues to threaten public health and serve as a major concern for individuals, it would certainly appear that falsely identifying someone as testing positive for COVID-19 could cause them harm, either personally or professionally. But, again, does that constitute defamation? While standards of proof vary by state, generally, a defamation claim requires the publication of a written or oral statement of fact (to someone other than the plaintiff) that harms the reputation of, or otherwise damages, the subject of the statement.

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