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Voters offered free coronavirus testing after election poll worker tests positive for virus

Worker from precinct 3032, Special Olympics of Palm Beach County, tested positive
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Posted at 3:19 PM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 18:21:18-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Judith McGrath says she went to vote in person last Tuesday at precinct 3032 in Lake Worth.

"I didn't do the mail-in ballot which I intended to do initially, but I decided to go in person," McGrath said.

A week later she's at the Supervisor of Elections Office in West Palm Beach getting a COVID-19 test.

"I received a phone call on Saturday telling me that one of the precinct workers had tested positive for COVID," McGrath said.

WPTV asked Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link what happened.

"At precinct 3032, which is the Special Olympics of Palm Beach County, we did have one of our poll workers contact us and let us know after Election Day she was tested, and she did test positive for COVID," Sartory Link said.

Sartory Link said her office contacted the 49 voters from that precinct who voted in-person and the other poll workers. She also said all protocols were followed on Election Day.

"Did have her temperature taken it was fine. She filled out the COVID questionnaire indicating she had no symptoms. She worked all day did not feel sick at all. At the end of the evening noticed she had a cough coming on," Sartory Link said.

It was already planned to have the staff at the Elections Office tested for free. The voters were included in the testing.

"We did also confirm this poll worker wore a mask and gloves the entire day. And of course our voters were also wearing a mask and we had social distancing. So we are told the risk to the voters is very, very, very small, but having said that, we wanted to make sure that we were being transparent," Sartory Link said.

McGrath is thankful for the transparency.

"I was surprised but also pleased that they did contact me and let me know. I thought that was very good due diligence on the part of the Supervisor of Elections Office," McGrath said.

Test results should be available within the next few days.