A woman who worked on Election Day as a poll greeter in Ephrata Township has tested positive for COVID-19.
Teresa Caruthers contacted LNP | LancasterOnline after learning Wednesday that results from a test administered to her on Monday were positive.
Caruthers, 71, a nurse practitioner, wanted to make sure people she may have interacted with, albeit briefly, knew about her status. She greeted voters at Hope United Methodist Church, 3474 Rothsville Road. She was there from 6:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. and was mostly outside.
She wore a mask -- two, she said, because that helps keep her glasses from fogging - and only talked to a few people, who were also wearing masks, she said. She had obtained contact information for one voter and had notified him, she said.
About 1,000 people voted in person at the poll.
She also had a box of “I voted” stickers and some chocolates, but said voters picked those items out themselves.
Caruthers said her employer offers monthly testing. She takes the tests, even though she’s only providing telehealth services, nothing in-person.
“I was shocked that I was positive,” she said, adding she has no idea where she may have been exposed.
She said she had chalked up a cough, headaches and fatigue to stress and other health issues.
Ironically, Caruthers said she voted by mail to reduce her personal risk of exposure.
Dr. Joseph Kontra, chief of infectious diseases at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, said, "The likelihood of transmission is low, given that she was outside and masked, and would have been unlikely to spend more than a few minutes near any one person. We also assume hand hygiene stations were somewhere near the stickers.”
And while the coronavirus can live for a short time on some surfaces, the CDC said it’s unlikely to spread that way.