Concerns about COVID-19 after Election Day

COVID-19 exposure at Horizon Church voting location

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - For anyone who voted at the Horizon Church on Election Day last week, you’ll want to pay close attention to your health and possible symptoms for COVID-19.

That’s after Jefferson County’s top election official told WBRC five poll workers who worked the election have now tested positive for the virus.

The county says it did take steps to try to keep people safe at the voting precincts with cleaning, sanitizers, encouraging social distancing and masks.

On Sunday, Jefferson County Probate Judge James Naftel got word that a poll worker who worked the election on November 3 at the Horizon Church in Vestavia Hills tested positive for COVID-19. In the days following, four more poll workers also tested positive.

At that point, Naftel notified the Jefferson County Department of Health. The county put out a public notice to voters at that location to keep close tabs on their health.

The probate judge said workers were told if they didn’t feel well not to come to the voting precinct. He didn’t feel it was practical to implement testing for hundreds of poll workers. Naftel said he hopes to look at other locations to split up the number of voters who voted at Horizon Church.

“I think it’s a problem of that facility of not being able to handle 3,800 people potentially going through there. That’s the main thing. Looking at our facilities to see if we can adapt if we need to for that,” Naftel said.

Naftel said he was encouraged when he was at the church that everyone was wearing masks. He doesn’t know if the poll workers were infected at the church or not.

Naftel said it was hard for his people to enforce social distancing all day long. He and others will look at other changes at the next big election, if there is still a health threat.

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