Health officials: COVID-19-exposed Georgians can vote on Election Day

The Georgia Department of Public Health has issued new guidelines when it comes to in-person voting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health officials say voters who are sick or in quarantine can vote, but there are some safety steps they need to take to protect themselves and others at polling locations.

The new protocols, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were just updated Sunday.

Know how the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting Georgia

Officials stress that anyone who is in isolation or quarantined can vote as long as they wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet away from others, and either wash or sanitize their hands before and after voting.

Voters should also make sure to let poll workers know about their condition when they arrive.

The changes come after questions about Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp voting. Kemp placed himself in quarantine following contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

A polling place worker holds an "I'm a Georgia Voter" sticker to hand to a voter.


The exposure caused the governor and first lady Marty Kemp to cancel appearances at some campaign events.

Both tested negative, but the CDC recommends people who might have been exposed to COVID-19 to stay home for 14 days and avoid contact with others.

But these recommendations, the CDC says, shouldn't prevent people from exercising their right to vote.

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The new guidance also comes as a nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases creates concerns for poll workers ahead of Election Day.

Several states are distributing masks, gloves, and social distancing markers for workers. Others are ramping up curbside ballot drop-off to limit exposure.

Avoiding those crowded polling locations has been one motivation for millions of Americans casting their ballots early.

Officials are hoping the record turnout will help ease some of the burden for poll workers on Election Day.

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