Health officials offer tips to help limit the spread of COVID-19 at the polls

Health officials offer tips to help limit the spread of COVID-19 at the polls
I Voted Today sticker (Source: Tidelands Health)

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Health officials with Tidelands Health are sharing tips to help limit the spread of COVID-19 while at the polls on Election Day.

According to a press release, the South Carolina Election Commission has outlined a number to precautions to keep voters and poll workers safe.

From the moment a voter arrives, social distancing guides help keep voters six feet apart as they wait in line to vote, and check-in stations and voting equipment also are spaced to observe social distancing, according to Tidelands Health.

Voters are provided a cotton swab to use as a stylus to make selections on the touchscreen in the voting booth to avoid contact with the usually highly touched surface, health officials said. Poll managers will be wearing masks and gloves and using sanitizing wipes to regularly clean common surfaces throughout the day.

Tidelands Health also recommends the public follow these steps when voting on Nov. 3:

  • As always when you are in public and around other people, wear a face mask. Make sure the mask is worn correctly, covering your entire nose and mouth, and keep it on at all times. Don’t remove it to talk or to cough or sneeze.
  • Bring your own pen to sign the poll list so you won’t have to use a common pen.
  • Have hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol handy to use before and after casting your vote and touching frequently touched surfaces such as door handles.
  • Observe social distancing. Stay at least six feet apart - about two arms lengths - at all times, even if you are wearing a face mask.
  • Come prepared. Check in advance to make sure you are going to the correct polling place and your registration information is correct. Make sure to have all needed documentation such as a photo ID with you. Find a sample ballot before going to the polls so you are familiar with it and can cast your ballot quickly. All of these steps will help minimize the time you spend in the polling place and around other people.
  • Consider voting at off-peak times on Election Day (such as mid-morning) or taking advantage of early voting that is already underway. Either option should help you avoid the largest voting crowds.

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