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Poll workers contract virus, but Election Day link unclear

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, file photo, poll workers assist a voter on Election Day...
FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, file photo, poll workers assist a voter on Election Day at Frank McCourt High School, on New York's Upper West Side. Poll workers in some states who came in contact with voters on Election Day are now reporting they have tested positive for the coronavirus despite painstaking efforts to secure election sites. To be sure, the cases cannot be tied definitely to polling places.(Richard Drew | AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Published: Nov. 15, 2020 at 11:24 AM CST
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Despite painstaking efforts to keep election sites safe, some poll workers who came in contact with voters on Election Day have tested positive for the coronavirus, including more than two dozen in Missouri and cases in New York, Iowa, Indiana, and Virginia.

The infections cannot be tied definitively to polling places. Because COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in the U.S., there is no way to determine yet whether in-person voting on Election Day contributed to the surge, public health experts said.

Before the election, officials outfitted polling places with protective gear, sanitizing supplies, and social distancing markers. Most poll workers were required to wear masks.

If all the rules were followed, experts say the virus risks should have been minimal compared with other activities.

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