Should voters be concerned about COVID-19 exposure?

Updated: Nov. 4, 2020 at 5:49 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Viewers have been sending in their videos and pictures from Election Day showing long lines, many of which show little social distancing and people not wearing face coverings.

So, should voters be concerned about COVID in the coming days?

That depends.

Jefferson County’s Medical Director of Disease Control said if you’ve taken the recommended precautions, then you’re probably okay.

But if you didn’t, you’ll want to start paying very close attention to your health.

“If you were wearing your facial covering, if you were keeping your distance the best that you could, I think there’s probably not a lot of reason to worry at this point,” said Dr. Wesley Willeford.

But facial coverings were not required at polling places in Alabama, and some people chose not to wear them, and social distancing wasn’t always easy at some locations.

“I think the riskiest type of scenario that would occur in that case would be if you’re sort of jammed really close together with other people if you’re not wearing a mask at all and they’re not wearing masks,” Dr. Willeford said.

Those exposed to COVID-19 typically show symptoms within five to seven days.

Dr. Willeford said cases are already going up steadily, which is cause for concern.

“The two things that worry me is when you put, because we had Halloween and Election Day essentially very close together and almost back-to-back and it’s going to be hard to suspect if one or the other result in an increase, because it will probably end up being a combination of both if we see it. Again, I hope we don’t see it, but there’s the possibility we may see that here in the next two weeks or so,” Dr. Willeford explained.

The other concern right now is flu.

Dr. Willeford said cases of influenza are beginning to circulate around Jefferson County, which is all the more reason to continue washing your hands, practice social distancing, wear a face covering and also get a flu shot.

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