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Voters concerned after Missouri poll worker with COVID-19 dies

Posted November 7, 2020 10:31 a.m. EST
Updated November 7, 2020 10:40 a.m. EST

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— A Missouri poll worker has died, and nine others are being asked to quarantine and get tested after the worker tested positive for COVID-19 but showed up anyway.

Kevin McCarthy voted at the precinct with the COVID-positive worker Tuesday, a huge concern as he prepares for major surgery in just ten days.

"This is just a situation where there is no excuse," said McCarthy. "I don't need to be dealing with the possibility of having been exposed to COVID-19."

McCarthy is not the only person to pass through the doors. In total, more than 1,800 voters came through the precinct.

Another voter, Denuse Lombardozzi, said she's not worried because health experts say the infected worker -- who has not been identified -- likely didn't interact much with voters.

The county did issue a warning as COVID-19 cases continue to increase.

"You know, considering how many people gathered at all of the polling places on Election Day, it is safe to assume that if you were at a polling place you were probably in contact with somebody who is COVID positive and probably infectious," said Demetrius Cianci-Chapman, public health director of St. Charles County.

That's little comfort to people like McCarthy.

"To put themselves in that position knowing they were ill, to be in contact with literally thousands of people. It's just stupidity," he said.

Cianci-Chapman said everyone should assume that when they are around a lot of people they are coming into contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive.

He said the polling place is no different than the grocery store and asked people to monitor their symptoms and quarantine when they notice symptoms.

An official cause of death for the poll worker has not been given.

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