By Kathy Chouteau
The Contra Costa County Superior Court has announced that all court locations will reopen to the public as of 8 a.m. on May 26. While court facilities are reopening, there will be strict observances of COVID-19 health guidelines to protect the safety and welfare of everyone.
In line with these efforts, the Superior Court advises those who are sick to refrain from going to court and warns that anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will not be permitted to enter court facilities.
As further safeguards, visitors will be required to wear masks or face coverings at all times and court personnel will be taking the temperatures of those entering the buildings. Anyone with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher will not be permitted to enter.
Due to the observance of social distancing requirements, the courts anticipate long lines and wait times. Court buildings will each have one entry and exit point (look for signage). Those who are nonessential to court matters are advised to not accompany others there, regardless of the type of case.
With the reopening of court facilities, jury service will resume. Jurors are advised by the Superior Court to wear masks at all times—and if sick, exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or at high-risk—will be excused from service upon proof. Jurors can call 925-608-1000 for more info from Jury Services.
According to a statement from the Superior Court, it is working with the County Health Department to ensure the safety of jurors as it reopens.
“To obey social distancing requirements, jurors will be called in two hour blocks” and “no more than 50 jurors will be present in a jury assembly room at any time.”
Criminal Virtual and Emergency Courtrooms will close as of May 26. For more information, including details about specific court operations, click here.