Face coverings will be required in court

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Under a new order from the Missouri Supreme Court, face masks will be required and courts will be required to revert back to greater restrictions if any court employee tests positive for COVID-19.

The Supreme Court issued an order last week, which modified its earlier operational directives to further guide courts in establishing local precautionary measures to help combat the spread of COVID-19 while also remaining open to conduct business.

The order goes into effect on Saturday.

Face masks or coverings now will be required to be worn in all public court areas and during all court proceedings unless good cause is shown to limit the requirement in a particular proceeding, such as a witness who is testifying.

Individuals working alone in a private office are an exception to the mask requirement.

“If any court employee, bailiff or other court personnel currently working in a court facility tests positive for COVID-19, the presiding or chief judge shall move that court facility to operating phase one or zero,” the order further says.

Under operating phase one, limitations are in place regarding the types of in-person proceedings that can be held, and the number of people who can be in a courtroom at one time.

Under phase one that limitation is set at 10 and under phase two it is set at 25 people.

Under phase zero, most in-person proceedings are suspended and technologies, such as video-conferencing are used to conduct activities remotely.

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