A Missouri election official has died after testing positive for the coronavirus and defying quarantine orders to work on Election Day. Now, there are concerns raised for nearly 2,000 people who voted at the St. Charles polling site, located northwest of St. Louis.
The election worker, who remained unnamed, had tested positive on Oct. 30 for COVID-19. However, an official cause of death is not yet known, according to a statement.
“A positive COVID-19 test result requires that person to be responsible to others in the community,” St. Charles County Director of Public Health Demetrius Cianci-Chapman said in a statement. “There is no more important duty than protecting the health of our families, friends and those who reside in the community with us.”
The CDC has said an exception should be made for voters, and that people can vote in person, even if they have received isolation orders after testing positive for COVID-19. "Voters have a right to vote regardless of whether they are sick or in quarantine," read a statement made ahead of Election Day.
Local epidemiologists have reached out to nine other election workers for contact tracing purposes, and advised them to be tested for the coronavirus, according to the statement. However, officials do not believe the election official worked closely with voters or the items they may have touched.
The polling location had implemented certain measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, including asking worker to wear masks or face shields, erecting Plexiglass barriers to keep people separate and practicing sanitation procedures throughout the day, the statement said.
As of Thursday, Missouri saw 204,000 total COVID-19 cases, with 3,184 people dying of the coronavirus. The state also saw a new single-day record of new cases on Thursday, with an increase of more than 3,5000 cases, eclipsing the last record by nearly 500 cases, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.