Connecticut Election Worker Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Connecticut Election Worker Tests Positive for Coronavirus
An election worker waits to receive absentee ballots to check they are properly filled out for the general election at TCF Center in Detroit, Michigan, on Nov. 3, 2020. (JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)
The Associated Press

An election employee in New Haven, Connecticut, has tested positive for the coronavirus, leading to a dozen other workers being quarantined, city officials said Wednesday.

Maritza Bond, the city's public health director, said the infected employee has not been to work since experiencing symptoms last week. She said offices in City Hall have been disinfected.

The 12 people placed in quarantine were temporary employees who spent Tuesday in the city clerk's office counting absentee ballots and had no known contact with voters. Everyone was wearing masks and taking other precautions, Bond said.

Gage Frank, a spokesman for Mayor Justin Elicker, said it didn’t appear vote counting was affected but he was checking into it.

City-Town Clerk Michael Smart has asked the secretary of the state’s office for support to ensure elections operations are completed Wednesday. He said most of the remaining work was data entry into the state’s election reporting system.

The pandemic also played a role on Election Day in Stamford, with the state Elections Enforcement Commission issued a cease-and-desist order compelling the town clerk to provide emergency ballots to quarantined voters. The Hartford Courant reported that at least two voters had complained after being denied those emergency ballots.

Quinnipiac University, meanwhile, moved most of its classes online amid a spike in positive tests on campus in Hamden.

The school said in an email that is has recorded 55 positive tests among students since Monday, including 34 living on campus, and has decided to elevate its alert level to “orange” in response.

The means most classes will be held remotely at least through Friday, testing will be increased, the dining halls will provide only take-out meals and students are prohibited from attending in-person gatherings on campus.

“We recognize that these increased restrictions are inconvenient and challenging but we know from public health experts and the experiences of other universities that these measures work to stem the tide of infection," wrote Dr. David Hill, the senior medical adviser on the school's COVID-19 Task Force.

The school said exceptions are being made for some classes its medical and law schools and department of health sciences.

Gov. Ned Lamont's office reported 2,651 new coronavirus cases across the state Tuesday. It said 340 people were currently hospitalized with COVID-19—the highest number since early June. The state also reported 11 additional coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total to 4,627.

By Pat Eaton-Robb and Dave Collins