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Tarrant County Poll Worker Tests Positive For Coronavirus, Early Voting Site Temporarily Shut Down In Hurst

HURST, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - A Tarrant County early voting location is temporarily shut down after a poll worker tested positive for COVID-19.

The lead clerk at the Brookside Community Center in Hurst tested positive for the virus, according to Tarrant County Elections.

Brookside Community Center
Brookside Community Center in Hurst. (Credit: CBS 11 News)

His most recent day working at the polling site was Monday, Oct. 19.

"We'll have to go back home and come back tomorrow," said Taurus Omejia, who showed up at the center Thursday night to vote early.

"A little disappointed," said Stan Messinger, another early voter forced to come up with a new plan. "I thought, oh man there's nobody in the parking lot, I should be able to get in, get out real quick. But no such luck."

Tarrant County Elections says as a precaution, the location has been shut down and all other poll workers quarantined.

The fear of COVID-19 won't stop Omejia from voting though.

"We just have to make sure we do what we can to stay safe," he said. "That's unfortunate, but it is what it is."

There are 49 other early voting locations in Tarrant County, including three within a few miles of the Brookside Community Center.

"I'll probably try another location, but not tonight," said Messinger.

So far, more than 387,000 Tarrant County residents have cast their ballots. 457,000 Dallas County residents have, too.

Both counties are on pace to shatter 2016 and 2018 early voting numbers.

Denton and Collin Counties passed 40% of registered voter turnout already as well.

"Most of the people I know from my job, they've already voted," Omejia said. "If you ask me, we're late voting."

Many voters aren't surprised by the enthusiasm this year.

"This is a big election," said Messinger. "In my opinion, it's maybe the election of my lifetime."

Tarrant County is working on putting together a replacement team of poll workers for the Hurst location. They say it will reopen as soon as it's safe to do so.


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