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Workers at Fulton County election warehouse test positive for COVID-19

The county assured that none of the affected workers have had contact with voters.

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Several Fulton County election employees have tested positive for the coronavirus, county officials confirm.

The Department of Registration & Elections reported that 13 of 60 employees within the Fulton County Election Preparation Center tested positive for COVID-19

The tally comes after the department found two initial cases earlier this week. After all warehouse staff were tested, an additional 11 cases were identified, bringing the total to 13.

The county said the Department of Registration & Elections is now coordinating with the county's board of health to monitor the situation and help clean. Daily rapid testing for all employees when they report to work will also be the standard going forward, officials said. 

The warehouse has been treated with a "germicidal barrier," the county said. More ventilation and "proactive environmental measure" have also been installed. 

The county added that they are now identifying an alternate workspace to allow operations to continue with greater social distancing. Additional staff are also being recruited to continue warehouse operations, the county said.

"[The] safety of residents and employees remains Fulton County’s highest priority as recent data shows an increase in COVID-19 cases," the county said in its statement.

Meanwhile, the county assured that none of the affected workers have had contact with voters. No COVID-19 cases have been reported among workers at early voting sites, either. 

All poll workers are required to wear masks, and hand sanitizer is provided for all election workers and the public.

Fulton County said it is is "continuing to explore and prepare for every possible contingency" to ensure successful elections operations through the Early Voting period and on Election Day.

Dr. Frita Fisher with Emory University Hospital said it’s a good reminder for voters to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines at the polls.

"They absolutely must wear masks. They absolutely must do social distancing even though it’s not traditionally what we’ve had to do," she said.

At some voting sites around metro Atlanta, 11Alive saw most people wearing masks, but Frita said she has seen others not doing that.

"Remember that we’re voting, but we’re voting in a pandemic," she said.