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Health department asks polling places to take precautions to prevent spread of COVID-19

Polling Place
Polling Place
Polling Place

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread across the country, health officials have recommended polling places take extra caution during tomorrow's primary election.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services gave the counties a list of recommendations and guidance to follow.

The department recommends polling workers routinely clean surfaces that are frequently touched, wash their hands often and disinfect voting associated electronics.

The Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer said voters will have to sign in on a tablet and then fill out a paper ballet. He said the public and workers can bring their own stylus and blue or black pen to avoid sharing.

"I recommended that they bring their own stylus and just keep it in their hand."

The state also asks that polling workers make sure bathrooms at the polling station are supplied adequately with soap and drying materials and also provide an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for voters and workers to use.

Korsmeyer said each polling place will have hand sanitizer for the public to use after voting on Tuesday.

"As far as what we are going to do, We are basically going to try to keep the iPad's clean and then we have the hand sanitizer," Korsmeyer said. "That's all we really have."

Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon recommends voters bring their own hand sanitizer or utilize the bathrooms at each polling place, as they were not able to get hand sanitizer for each polling location.

"With the shortage of a lot of the hand sanitizer it's been kind of hard to come by," Lennon said. "People can always feel free to bring it and poll workers can feel free to bring it in, too."

She said Boone County has provided disinfecting wipes to all their locations and have asked polling workers to routinely wipe down tables and the stations in response to the coronavirus.

"It's also cold and flu season so it's just good precaution overall to make sure we are keeping the area clean," Lennon said.

Watch ABC17 News at 9 and 10 for a full report.

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Connor Hirsch

Connor Hirsch reports for the weekday night shows, as well as Sunday nights.

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