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An American Foods Group employee walks past a sign that says “Heroes trabajan aquí,” meaning “Heroes work here,” on April 28 in Green Bay.

An American Foods Group employee walks past a sign that says “Heroes trabajan aquí,” meaning “Heroes work here,” on April 28 in Green Bay. (Photo: Sarah Kloepping/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

A judge temporarily blocked the state health department from releasing the names of businesses linked to COVID-19 cases on Thursday, after Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce sued to stop the release of the information to media outlets.

The state’s largest business lobbying group argued Thursday that the records are protected by patient confidentiality laws and that disclosure will “irreparably” harm businesses by “effectively blacklisting them.”

The order from Waukesha County Circuit Judge Lloyd V. Carter will remain in effect for five days. 

Track COVID-19 in Wisconsin: See the latest numbers and trends

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel requested state Department of Health Services data on facilities associated with COVID-19 cases on June 6.

The department announced in July that it would release