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After helping with early voting, an Austin poll worker died of COVID
(Adrianne Perez/GoFundMe)

Patricia Perez had barely left her house since March, but she was determined to work the voting polls in Travis County, just as she had done for years.


She was cautious of the pandemic, wearing a face shield, mask and gloves. However, she still got sick and died.

Her five adult children told KXAN there was "no stopping" her from working the Travis County polls during early voting, due to their mother's passion for politics.

"It's been a tough road and definitely wasn't her time," Adrianne Perez, one of the daughters, told the news station.

Soon after beginning work at the polling station at the Holiday Inn near I-35 and U.S. Highway 290, she called her children to express concern about a fellow poll worker, who she believed was sick. The man had been blowing his nose and coughing.

The poll worker was sent home and soon tested positive for COVID-19. A week or so after her first negative test result, Perez started feeling sick herself.

She spent a month in an Austin ICU, before dying at St. David's Medical Center on 32nd street on Dec. 2. She turned 70 this past weekend.

A county clerk told the news station there was no evidence that other poll workers or voters had gotten sick from the episode, though steps have been taken to advise poll workers.

The Perez family has set up a GoFundMe page for Perez's medical and funeral expenses.

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