The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released new guidance over the weekend explaining that voters who have tested positive for COVID-19 can still exercise their right to vote, even if they are currently sick or are undergoing quarantine.
“CDC’s recommendations for isolating someone who has Covid-19 or quarantining someone who was in close contact with a person with Covid-19 would not preclude them from exercising their right to vote,” a CDC spokesperson told CNN in an email Monday.
Any voters casting their vote in-person, however, should take several precautions and bring materials to reduce the chances of spreading the coronavirus, according to the CDC.
The agency’s guidelines note that any voter who is sick or in quarantine “should take steps to protect poll workers and other voters,” including wearing a mask, maintaining a physical distance of at least six feet from others, and washing or sanitizing your hands before going to the polls and after casting your ballot.
“You should also let poll workers know that you are sick or in quarantine when you arrive at the polling location,” reads the CDC’s guidelines.
The CDC recommends voters bring any documents necessary to vote in-person, voters should wear a mask, and bring an extra one with them in case the other gets wet or dirty. In-person voters should also bring hand sanitizer, tissues, water, and a black ink pen with them, and fill out any forms in advance if possible, so as to spend the least amount of time at the polls.
Furthermore, voters should check with local authorities for any additional guidance before heading to the polls.
A separate set of CDC guidelines for “polling locations and voters,” updated last week, asks polling locations to set up “alternative voting options” for symptomatic voters when possible in their area:
Where possible in your jurisdiction, offer alternative voting options for voters with symptoms, those who are sick or known COVID-19 positive. Alternative voting options should minimize exposure between poll workers and voters, such as a designated polling site or curbside voting for sick voters. Poll workers assisting voters with symptoms should be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE), including respiratory protection, face shields, gowns, and gloves, and trained in the appropriate use of this equipment.
Post signs to discourage anyone with symptoms from entering the polling location buildings and provide voting options for those with symptoms. Ensure that any signage is accessible to voters with disabilities, for example by providing large print or braille versions or having audible messages with the same information.
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