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Public health officials feel conflicted about primary electionsSubmitted: 04/07/2020
Public health officials feel conflicted about primary elections
Andrew Goldstein
Andrew Goldstein
Sports Anchor/Reporter
agoldstein@wjfw.com

NORTHWOODS - Before voters could fill out a ballot, they had to disinfect.

"Earlier last week, every polling place received supplies from the Wisconsin Election Commission," Vilas County clerk Dave Alleman said. "This box of supplies included sanitizer, included wipes, included some masks."

Those supplies were put to good use at polls around the Northwoods, on the advice of public health departments.

"They put a lot of measures in place to help control the environment so that people can stay safe," said Judy Burrows, a public information officer with the Marathon County Health Department.

Officials across the state have been encouraging people to stay home for almost a month, but election day left them feeling conflicted.


"We want people to stay put and only go out for essential reasons," said Linda Conlon, Oneida County's public health director. "But on the other hand, it is difficult. It is everyone's right to vote."

According to projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Wisconsin is not currently expected to drastically exceed hospital capacity.

However, that is just one optimistic model of many and we won't know if the primary impacted the state's curve immediately.

"The incubation period can be up to two weeks, so we should see a difference in about two weeks or so [if at all,]" Conlon said.

Still, Burrows is optimistic that the curve will be kept flat.

"The best thing that can happen here is that people will follow the precautions that they can to protect themselves," Burrows said. "And if everyone does that, we shouldn't have a problem."



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