Election Official Who Worked At A Polling Site Days After Testing Positive For COVID Has Died

by Kristine Cannon

Nearly 2,000 voters cast ballots on Election Day at the Missouri polling site

Fours days after testing positive for COVID-19, a Missouri election judge supervisor worked a polling site on Election Day, despite being advised to quarantine for two weeks. Two days later, St. Charles County Department of Public Health announced via press release on Thursday that the unidentified woman has died. The cause of death, however, is still unknown.

The now-deceased supervisor received the positive test result on Oct. 30 from a private lab. She was then advised by the lab to quarantine for 14 days. “The election judge nevertheless failed to follow the advice and worked at the County’s Precinct 41 at the Blanchette Park Memorial Hall polling site in St. Charles on Election Day,” the release states. Authorities did not learn of the woman’s positive test until after she died; and according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, had they have known, they “would have asked them not to work.”

FOX 2 in St. Louis reports that the poll worker put in about a 15-hour day on Election Day. And according to the St. Charles County press release, nearly 1,900 voters were at the polling place on Tuesday. The worker’s duties included did not include, however, “working closely with voters, handling iPads, distributing styluses, or taking voter identification.”

“It is not anticipated that close contacts will include any of the 1,858 voters who were at the polling place Tuesday,” the release states, adding that Department of Public Health epidemiologists have contacted election workers who were at the site, and they’re also working with family members to determine the worker’s whereabouts prior to the positive test results.

“For me to show up and do my civic duty … and to be exposed in that instance when I have been as careful as I have, I am completely irate over this,” Maggie Pohlmeier, a St. Charles doctor and mom, told the Post-Dispatch.

According to FOX 2 and The Washington Post, nine other poll workers were contacted, interviewed, and advised to get tested and quarantine.

“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 press release. “There is no more important duty than protecting the health of our families, friends and those who reside in the community with us.”

As of Friday morning, Missouri clocked in a record-breaking number of new cases (3,931) and hospitalizations (1,834), as well as an addition 25 deaths. St. Charles County, specifically, experienced a 52 percent increase in positive cases over the past two weeks.

Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.