An election official in Missouri, who worked on Election Day despite having tested positive for COVID-19, has died.
In a Thursday press release, St. Charles County announced that an election judge supervisor had died after receiving a positive test result on Oct. 30.
Although the individual, who has not been identified, was “advised by the lab to quarantine for 14 days,” the supervisor “nevertheless failed to follow the advice” and worked at a local polling site on Election Day.
“Authorities have informed the County that this individual has died, although a cause of death has not been given at this time,” the press release stated.
Contact tracing efforts are currently underway, and Department of Public Health epidemiologists are advising that the polling places's other nine election workers get tested for the virus.
As the individual in question was a supervisor, St. Charles County officials do not believe that the election judge would have come into close contact with “any of the 1,858 voters who were at the polling place Tuesday.” All election workers were required to war masks or face shields at all times, and Plexiglas barriers separated them from voters.
St. Charles County Director of Elections Kurt Bahr told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they had not been aware that the individual had tested positive prior to Election Day, and had they known, “we would have asked them not to work.”
As of Friday, officials still have not learned the supervisor's cause of death, nor do they know whether the individual was symptomatic when they reported to work, St. Charles County spokesperson Mary Enger tells PEOPLE.
Local residents who voted at the polling place where the supervisor worked have voiced their anger after learning the news.
“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,” Maggie Pohlmeier, a doctor and mom, told the St. Louis-Post Dispatch. “I am completely irate over this.”
Added Catherine Eberle, a home health nurse and mother of two, “I just wish more people would have more concern for other people around them, not just for themselves.”
As coronavirus cases have continued to soar in the United States, Missouri has witnessed a sharp uptick in new cases.
The state reported an increase of over 3,500 new cases on Thursday, setting a new single-day record, KMOV reported. As of Friday morning, there have been at least 204,951 cases statewide and over 3,000 deaths, according to The New York Times database.
In St. Charles County, there has been a 52 percent increase in positive cases over the past two weeks. As of Friday, there have been a total of 13,423 confirmed cases and 172 deaths.
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