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This page offers all of Delaware Public Media's ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting the First State. Check here regularly for the latest new and information.

CDC survey evaluates COVID precautions during Delaware primary election

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Delaware Public Media
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Delaware was recently the subject of a CDC study to see if the federal agency’s COVID recommendations work during an election.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention partnered with the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services to survey the more than 500 poll workers staffing the state’s primary election in September.

The study noted some positives. It found masks were available for poll workers and voters most of the time, polling places were properly marked with one direction of traffic for the most part and voting booths were almost always six feet apart from one another.

State Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay says she’s pleased with the results.

“I think the Delaware results are very promising for Delaware polls being a safe place to go, but for again good opportunities to improve on a couple of things,” said Rattay. 

A few low points: the survey found there were almost never the recommended physical barriers at polling places, there were separate doors for entry and exit only about half the time and very few poll workers reported receiving all of the proper training.

“It was clear that we needed some more training for poll workers around what to do if someone comes with symptoms and how to safely handle the situation so individuals can vote without spreading the illness to other people,” Rattay noted. 

Nearly 101,000 of the more than 177,000 Delawareans who voted in the primary election voted in person. And while nearly 130,000 have already voted absentee or by mail for the general election, a majority of votes are still expected to show up at the polls next week.

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