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CDC to COVID Patients: Voting in Person A-OK

But do 'let poll workers know that you are sick or in quarantine'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2020 2:34 AM CST

(Newser) – In a post Monday regarding how to vote in person while taking safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC said that people with the coronavirus are still free to head out to their local polling place Tuesday. "Voters have the right to vote, regardless of whether they are sick or in quarantine," the post says. However, if they are, they "should take steps to protect poll workers and other voters. This includes wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands or using hand sanitizer before and after voting. You should also let poll workers know that you are sick or in quarantine when you arrive at the polling location. Check with local authorities for any additional guidance."

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Speaking of local authorities, the AP reports that a conservative commentator falsely claimed Monday that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's office was attempting to "silence voters" by informing thousands of voters who were potentially exposed to the virus that they "must remain quarantined and not vote in person on election day. If they fail to obey the order, they face possible arrest." Wendy Bell's Facebook posts on the issue have been liked and shared thousands of times, but the state's health secretary says the story is "completely false." Election day has never been mentioned in the form letter Pennsylvania sends to close contacts of coronavirus patients, law enforcement has never enforced a quarantine triggered by one of those letters, and "we cannot force or tell individuals they cannot vote in person," a health department spokesperson says. (Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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