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Here’s how many people were infected with coronavirus after voting in Wisconsin’s elections

More than 50 people who voted in person or worked the polls during Wisconsin’s primary on April 7 have tested posted for COVID-19, according to the Associated Press.   

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said it couldn’t verify whether all 52 positive cases were a result from participating in the primary, because several of the patients said there were other ways they could have contracted the virus. 

All 52 patients were tested before April 21, which is precisely two weeks after the primary. Most patients who test positive for the virus show symptoms within 14 days of getting the virus. Julie Willems Van Dijk, head of the state health agency, told the AP that the state will stop asking newly infected individuals next week whether they were at the polls. 

Of course, these numbers don’t include those who participated in the primary, got infected, and then remained asymptomatic. The statistics cannot show how many people were infected by the people exposed at the polls, either. 

As of April 28, Wisconsin reports 6,289 COVID-19 infections and 300 deaths, with 69,824 tested in total. The state also reports that 23% of those who tested positive were hospitalized. 

There was intense debate—statewide and nationally—leading up to the primary election. Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, postponed in-person voting at the last minute because of coronavirus concerns, but the Wisconsin Supreme Court overruled him and opened the polls on the originally scheduled date. About 400,000 people reportedly voted in person. 

Despite Wisconsin having a shelter-in-place order until May 26, the state hasn’t yet postponed a special congressional election in the 7th district slated for May 12 or announced whether it’s considering switching entirely to mail-in voting. The 7th congressional district is the largest in Wisconsin. 

Right now, voters have the option to mail in an absentee ballot before May 12. Both candidates, Democrat Tricia Zunker and Republican Tom Tiffany, have encouraged voters to use an absentee ballot. 

Sources: Associated PressWisconsin DHS, Politico


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