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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on October 29, 2020

Tidelands Health offers tips to limit the spread of COVID-19 as voters head to the polls

Tidelands Health encourages voters to take simple steps to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 as they head to the polls for Election Day on Tuesday.

I voted stickerThe South Carolina Election Commission has outlined a number of precautions to keep voters and poll workers safe. From the moment a voter arrives, social distancing guides help keep voters six feet apart as they wait in line to vote, and check-in stations and voting equipment also are spaced to observe social distancing.

Voters are provided a cotton swab to use as a stylus to make selections on the touchscreen in the voting booth to avoid contact with the usually highly touched surface. And of course, poll managers will be wearing masks and gloves and using sanitizing wipes to regularly clean common surfaces throughout the day.

“We’ve already seen through early voting that these precautions are working to help keep voters safe from the virus,” said Dr. Gerald Harmon, vice president of medical affairs at Tidelands Health.

In addition to those measures, voters can take extra steps to limit any spread of COVID-19 as they head to the polls:

  • As always when you are in public and around other people, wear a face mask. Make sure the mask is worn correctly, covering your entire nose and mouth, and keep it on at all times – don’t remove it to talk or to cough or sneeze.
  • Bring your own pen to sign the poll list so you won’t have to use a common pen.
  • Have hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol handy to use before and after casting your vote and touching frequently touched surfaces such as door handles.
  • Observe social distancing. Stay at least six feet apart – about two arms lengths – at all times, even if you are wearing a face mask.
  • Come prepared. Check in advance to make sure you are going to the correct polling place and your registration information is correct. Make sure to have all needed documentation such as a photo ID with you. Find a sample ballot before going to the polls so you are familiar with it and can cast your ballot quickly. All of these steps will help minimize the time you spend in the polling place and around other people.
  • Consider voting at off-peak times on Election Day (such as mid-morning) or taking advantage of early voting that is already underway. Either option should help you avoid the largest voting crowds.

“With the proper safety precautions by poll workers and residents, voters can feel confident going to the polls and exercising their right to cast their ballots,” Dr. Harmon said. “Simply be smart by following the common-sense precautions to protect yourself and others.”

For more voting tips and information, go to, and your county election office websites such as or


Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider and MUSC Health affiliate, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 60 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners work side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.