Wisconsin state health officials said on Tuesday that 19 people who either voted in person or worked at a polling site on election day have tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Health officials, however, are hesitant to link the new cases to the election. A department spokesperson said that several of those cases “reported other possible exposures as well.”

“Since we only have data on positive cases (without a comparison group of people who were not tested or tested negative), there is no way to know with certainty if any exposures at the polls that are reported are in fact attributable to COVID-19 illness,” the spokesperson said.

Public health officials will continue interviewing people in order to investigate whether or not more people have the coronavirus from election-related activities. 

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Dr. Jeanette Kowalik, the city health commissioner, said on Monday that, “As of today, we have identified seven individuals that contracted – at least it appears – COVID-19 through election-related activities, whether they had showed up to vote at one of the polling sites in the city of Milwaukee or they worked at one of the polling sites.”

Seven of those cases involved voters, while one is a poll worker in Milwaukee. 

Kowalik said that officials only have partial data and are investigating the full picture. 

“As of now, we only have 30% of the data as far as any new COVID-19 cases that were associated with the date of the 7th of April, which is when the election was held,” she said. “There needs to be a little bit more analysis so we can connect the dots, that’s why case investigation and contact tracing is so important.”


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