Officials say at least 40 people who voted or worked in Wisconsin elections have coronavirus
At least 40 people who voted in person or worked at polls in Wisconsin’s elections earlier this month have tested positive for coronavirus, the state’s health department confirmed to The Hill on Tuesday.
“So far, 40 people who tested COVID-19 positive after April 9 have reported that they voted in person or worked the polls on election day,” Elizabeth Goodsitt, a spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, said in an email.
It’s unclear if the people got the coronavirus through taking part in the primary, however, as several reported additional possible exposures, she said.
Politico reported earlier Tuesday that the department confirmed at least 36 people who voted in person or worked at the polls had tested positive.
The state health department told The Hill last week that 19 people who had voted in person or worked at a polling location during Wisconsin’s elections earlier this month had tested positive.
The state health department announced new tracing mechanisms to track Wisconsin residents who may have been exposed to COVID-19 during the elections just days after the April 7 elections.
Goodsitt said public health officials are continuing to interview people who have tested positive with COVID-19 as to whether they voted in person or had worked at the polls.
Since officials only have data on positive cases, without a comparison group of people who were not tested or tested negative, Goodsitt said “there is no way to know with certainty if any exposures at the polls that are reported are in fact attributable to COVID-19 illness.”
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tried to block in-person voting and hold the entire election by mail, but Republican legislators refused the request.
The Supreme Court overturned Evers’s executive order to postpone in-person voting until June. The order also held that Wisconsin could not accept absentee ballots postmarked after its voting day.
As of Monday, the Wisconsin health department reported a statewide total of 6,081 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 281 deaths.
Updated at 9:53 a.m.