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Bexar County election judges and staff members get free COVID-19 tests

Matthew Neal gets a COVID-19 test after working at voting polls for the 2020 elections/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Matthew Neal knew there would be a big turnout for this election, so despite the pandemic he decided to work at the voting polls.

“A lot of people who traditionally work elections might be at higher risk (for COVID-19) than I am because of pre-existing conditions, age, or whatever it might be,” he told KTSA News. “This was such an important election to a lot of people and I wanted to make sure there was no chance that someone in my neighborhood didn’t get to vote because a polling site didn’t have enough staff.”

He figures he came in contact with 8,000 people during the early voting period and on Election Day, so when Bexar County offered free COVID-19  tests for the workers, he signed up.  Neal was tested by University Health System staff Monday at the Bexar County Elections Department.

“Two swabs up my nostrils–not very comfortable, but after a few seconds, it was all over and they said they’d call me within 24 hours,” said Neal.

Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen says they gave election workers Personal Protective Equipment, plenty of hand sanitizer and other coronavirus safeguards, and this was the final step.

“It was a promise we made to them when we saw all the election officials putting themselves out there for the voters, for this fantastic election,” said Callanen.

The free tests will continue at least through Thursday.

 


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