By Priscilla Totiyapungprasert |Arizona Republic
The highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading in Arizona, prompting some restaurants in Phoenix and Scottsdale to ask diners for proof of vaccination.
Though those businesses are in the minority, they join a slew of other establishments across the United States that require proof of vaccination, including hundreds of bars in San Francisco.
Some critics of such policies have falsely argued that this rule is a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA, a federal law that protects people from having their personal health information shared without their consent. The law, however, only applies to certain health-related entities, such as health insurance companies.
It is not illegal for businesses to ask patrons if they have been vaccinated.
Health experts attribute the recent up`tick in COVID-19 cases to the delta variant, which makes people contagious faster and spreads more easily than earlier strains.
Researchers say the delta variant has become the dominant strain of the COVID-19 virus in Arizona, The Arizona Republic previously reported.