An employee of the Gordon County Board of Elections tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday evening after seeking medical care for sinus trouble. The employee has since entered into quarantine and the building and office have been sterilized with an aeroclave unit, making it possible for early voting to continue in the same location.
The news of an elections department employee contracting coronavirus comes as record numbers of early voters file into the office to cast their ballots for the November election. An employee in the office said Thursday that the office was being “extensively cleaned” throughout the day and between each visit by a voter. Mandatory social distancing is also being enforced.
”All employees of the elections department have been wearing masks, social distancing and regularly wiping down equipment,” Gordon County Executive Assistant Keith King said in a press release late Tuesday evening. “Gordon County is doing everything it can to protect its voters and staff.”
Those who do not feel safe voting in person are encouraged to take advantage of the secure drop box located outside of the elections office, located at the Gordon County Annex Building at 101 S. Piedmont St. The drop box is to the left of the front door of the building and can only be opened by an elections department employee with access to its key.
Gordon County saw a little small spike in confirmed cases this week after three straight days with double-digit additions, jumping from 1,999 cases on Monday to 2,066 by Thursday afternoon. That total equates to 196 new cases so far in October. Only three Gordon County deaths have added this month, bringing the total to 39 COVID-19 fatalities.
Early voting began Monday and will continue through Oct. 30. The elections office will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. for early voters. There will be one Saturday available for early voting on Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
More than 4,800 voters have requested absentee ballots for this election, setting up for an estimated six times the number of absentee votes cast in previous elections. Anyone else hoping to request an absentee ballot must do so by Oct. 30. All absentee ballots must be returned by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, to be counted.
For those hoping to vote in person, precincts will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3. Find your voting precinct by visiting www.mvp.sos.ga.gov.