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If Your Neighbor Has Coronavirus, Do They Have To Tell You?

CHICAGO (CBS) -- What would you do if your neighbor had coronavirus – and are they even obligated to tell you?

With thousands of apartments and condos, tight quarters are part of everyday life in Chicago - and so are the risks.

CBS 2's Tara Molina took the question to health and legal experts, and the answer is not simple.

Opening doors, pressing elevator buttons – they're the little things you may not think twice about. But would you want to know if someone who had shared such as spaces – and who is sharing the building you call home – has COVID-19?

"I think it's going to be a tough road," said CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller.

We asked about your right to know, and their obligation to share.
It turns out legally, neither exist.

"I'm not saying there's no moral duty to notify, but there is no legal duty," Miller said. "We have to balance that against, what do we owe society to protect ourselves and to protect people around us and sometimes those two clash together?"

But he said it's a dilemma that could end up in court.

"If it turns out the tenant next door dies because of the disease? I could see a possible lawsuit, a possible cause of action, against the landlord for not notifying the tenant who eventually died," Miller said.

We checked in with the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Chicago Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to see what they recommend.

The health departments both said they don't have regulations on apartments and condos. A representative of the CDC said they don't either, but there could be changes if there is an emergency declaration on the state or local level.

Experts say the best thing you can do is treat *every public space with caution right now.

Molina never heard back from Chicago's Department of Buildings on their recommendation. This story will be updated when she does.

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