SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah. (ABC4 News) — The coronavirus remains a top concern for the Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office one day after the election.
Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said with cases rising, they are being extra cautious.
They say sharing is caring, but not when it comes to a global pandemic at the 2020 presidential election voting polls.
“We discourage that in most cases,” said Nicholas Rupp.
Rupp is the spokesman for the Salt Lake County Health Department.
“Social distancing and face coverings are really the most essential things we saw yesterday and we did see that well-practiced throughout,” said Rupp.
Rupp said COVID was top of mind when planning for the election, and Swensen agrees. Both told ABC4 they follow all CDC guidelines. That includes the fact the public agency declared those with COVID are allowed to leave quarantine and vote.
“It definitely is a concern, but another thing I did is I added a lot of voting centers and they weren’t very crowded at all,” said Swensen.
Swensen said there were 22 more polling sites in Salt Lake County this election than in 2016. She said the increase was two-fold: Covid and the county added roughly 100 thousand more active voters.
Rupp said while the Salt Lake County Health Department is keeping an eye on COVID, he said the increase likely won’t be attributed to the election.
“I don’t think we expect an increase in Covid cases due to election day. We are concerned about the increase in cases we have been seeing the last couple of weeks in Salt Lake County,” said Rupp.
Salt Lake County has seen Covid cases rise since the get-go. On election day, there were 845 new cases of the illness. That is the second most covid cases per day out of all counties in Utah. The first most also came from Salt Lake County on Oct. 29th with 950 new cases.
“If you needed to vote in-person you were able to do that although we did encourage people to take advantage of Utah’s long-standing mail-in voting options,” said Rupp.
Rupp’s best advice was to use one of the 21 ballot drop-off locations. He said the health department will closely monitor the increases in COVID in the coming days and weeks and see if any health precautions at the polls will be used for future elections.
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