The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that sick voters can safely cast their ballots in person as long as they follow proper coronavirus guidance.
“Voters have the right to vote, regardless of whether they are sick or in quarantine,” the CDC said in a guidance updated on Monday, adding that those who are ill with COVID-19 or are quarantining after possible exposure should take precautions to ensure poll workers and other voters are not exposed to the virus.
“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,” the guidance says. “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.”
The CDC guidance urged voters coming to the polls to be prepared by wearing a mask, bringing hand sanitizer, tissues, and a black ink pen.
The coronavirus pandemic has driven record numbers of people to vote early or vote by mail. As many as 94 million ballots have already been cast prior to Election Day, a figure that represents more than 68% of the total vote during the 2016 presidential election, NBC News reported on Monday.
The United States leads the world in sheer volume of confirmed COVID-19 cases, with about 9.3 million infections and more than 231,000 deaths since the health crisis first began.
The U.S. has experienced record surges in new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, with new infections over the past 14 days rising by 45% and deaths growing by 17%, according to the New York Times.
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