FLINT, MI – Jury trials have resumed in Genesee County with security measures in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trials resumed Tuesday (September 15) in Genesee County Circuit Court, with approval from the State Court administrative office, after being delayed since late March.
Jury summons were issued to residents along with information on security measures taken to protect the health of jurors, witnesses, judges and court staff.
“It is essential that the citizens of Genesee County know that the court has taken extra precautions to provide a safe environment,” Chief Justice Duncan Beagle said in a press release. “Information from the Genesee County Health Department documenting the downward trend in new COVID-19 cases has been obtained and continues to be monitored daily. “
The county health department is reporting a total of 3,411 cases of COVID-19 as well as 281 deaths from the virus.
Figures from the Ministry of Health website show 105 cases in the last seven days, an average of 15 cases per day and two deaths during this period.
These numbers show a steep drop from April, when the highest single-day tally for COVID-19 cases in the county occurred – 92 on April 2.
The Genesee County Circuit and District Court buildings closed in late March. They reopened for some proceedings at the end of June, with restrictions limiting the number of people allowed inside courtrooms to 10. The proceedings are broadcast live for those who cannot attend in person.
Courtrooms will practice social distancing, install protective glass panels, require face masks, and use improved frequent disinfection protocols.
Prospective jurors will need to arrive at different times and in small groups to maintain social distancing. They will be provided with personal protective equipment including hand sanitizer, masks if necessary and gloves if a document review is required.
Seating and floors will be demarcated to ensure a social distance of six feet. Courtrooms will be cleaned several times a day.
Members of the public are required to enter the courthouse at the Beach Street entrance, with health examinations requested by security personnel.
“The court recognizes that some citizens will not be able to appear before a jury due to their age, underlying health issues and other hardships caused by the pandemic,” Beagle said.
The jury management office will grant exemptions and deferrals to jurors, as needed.
Anyone with questions can contact the jury management office at 810-257-3285 or by email at [email protected]
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