O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) - A suburban St. Louis election official who worked at a polling place on Election Day despite a positive test for the coronavirus has now died, raising concerns for the nearly 2,000 people who voted there.
St. Charles County, Missouri, spokeswoman Mary Enger said in a news release Thursday that the person, whose cause of death is not yet known, was an election judge supervisor at the Blanchette Park Memorial Hall polling site in St. Charles.
Enger says the county’s health department and election authority recently learned that the poll worker tested positive Oct. 30 for COVID-19 and was advised to quarantine for 14 days, but ignored the advice and worked Tuesday.
“As this virus continues to spread, all aspects of the healthcare system are working together to remind the community that a positive COVID-19 test result requires that person to be responsible to others in the community,” says St. Charles County Director of Public Health Demetrius Cianci-Chapman in the news release. “There is no more important duty than protecting the health of our families, friends, and those who reside in the community with us.”
Health officials said election workers at the site have been contacted and they are working with the election supervisor's family to "determine the worker’s whereabouts before the positive test results."
Enger said they are advising some or all the other nine election workers at the polling place to test for the virus.
Enger said "it is not anticipated that close contacts will include any of the 1,858 voters who were at the polling place Tuesday" since job duties for supervisors do not entail them to work close to voters, handle iPads, distribute pens, or taking voter identification.
St. Charles County Director of Elections Kurt Bahr said masks or face shields were mandated for all election works at all times and the workers and voters were separated by Plexiglas barriers.
Election workers practiced sanitation procedures throughout the day, Bahr added.
If you were at the percent on Election Day, health officials said you should watch for symptoms and if you have any questions, you can contact the county’s COVID Hotline at 636-949-1899.