They will reinforce safety protocols such mask wearing & social distancing.
Baltimore, Md (KM) It’s a way to help stop the spread of COVID-19 during early voting and on General Election Day. The Maryland Department of Health says health ambassadors have been sent out to several polling places around the state to help reinforce guidelines for social distancing and mask wearing. They will also provide guidance on how to properly wear a mask, and distribute masks to those who need them. In addition, these ambassadors will administer hand sanitizer and disinfect high-touch surfaces.
Dr. Clifford Mitchell, the Director of the Department’s Environmental Health Bureau, says these ambassadors are physicians, nurses and other public health professionals, and health care students who are part of the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps. “This is a group that voluntarily makes themselves available where there’s an urgent need on the state level or larger kinds of health care assistance,” he says.
Assigning these health ambassadors to polling places to help keep people safe from the coronavirus has been in the planning stage for some time, says Dr. Mitchell. “People in this time when they really want to get out to vote–but where COVID is also present–want to do so safely and the boards of elections want to make sure they can do so safely,” he said,. “So we are providing that extra level of information and reassurance that they can do so safely.”
The Department of Health says health ambassadors have been sent to polls in Baltimore City, and Montgomery, Carroll, Howard, Prince George’s, Harford and Worcester Counties. But Dr Mitchell says boards of elections in the other jurisdictions have been working with the Health Department to make sure early voting and General Election Day are conducted safely. “They’ve been working on creating policies and procedures to make sure that people are socially distanced at least six feet; that they have signage related to masking and handwashing.,” he says.
If you are voting in person, Dr. Mitchell says there are some actions you can take to keep yourself from contracting the COVID-19 virus. ‘Wear a mask; cover you cough and sneeze; make sure you’re washing and sanitizing your hands All of those things will protect you, your family, other people at the polls and the poll workers, and keep everybody safe,” he says.
By Kevin McManus