Lee County Justice center and courthouse. Credit: 20th Judicial Circuit.

Masks required again inside 20th Judicial Circuit courthouses due to COVID-19 increase

Due to local health conditions in Southwest Florida, Chief Judge McHugh will require all judges, court staff, members of the public, attorneys, litigants, witnesses, observers, vendors media, law enforcement, and employees of all other occupants of the courthouse or court facility to wear a face mask in all public areas of the 20th Judicial Circuit courthouses to mitigate the transmission of the delta COVID-19 variant.

The 20th Judicial Circuit covers Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties.

Face masks will be required to be worn while conducting court business or attending a court proceeding.

If a person does not have a face mask, one will be provided at no cost.

They said, at this time, the 20th Circuit will not be instituting physical distancing measures. Requests for social distancing will be handled by the presiding judge.

Jury trials will continue to be conducted with appropriate health and safety precautions in place.

Remote technology is still strongly encouraged and will still be used as an alternative to in-person proceedings, when appropriate, to facilitate the efficient and expeditious processing of cases. However, Courtrooms are open to view court proceedings.

The Chief Judge and Trial Court Administrator will continue to review local health conditions on a weekly basis in our five counties.

These protocols and measures shall remain in effect until otherwise vacated or superseded by a subsequent court order.

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