Covid 19 Court Procedures for the Douglas Judicial Circuit
After consulting with the medical leadership of Cobb and Douglas County Public Health, the court will revise the Covid 19 operating procedures in public areas of the Douglas County Courthouse as follows until further Order of this Court:
1. There will be no requirement for temperature checks upon entry into the Courthouse, as the court is informed that they do not operate as a reliable indicator of Covid 19 status. Instead, all persons who are positive for Covid 19 or symptomatic may not enter the Courthouse. These symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking, sore throat, headache, loss of taste, and loss of sense of smell. This is NOT A CHANGE from the previous order.
2. All persons must wear masks in public areas of the Courthouse, and there are no exceptions to the rule. The Sheriff's office is directed to refuse admittance to anyone who declines to wear a mask, and free masks will be provided while supplies last. Elected officials and department heads have the discretion to require masks within their immediate workspace, but there are no exceptions for the mask requirement in public areas of the Courthouse. This is a CHANGE from the previous order, which made masks optional at the discretion of the public when Covid 19 transmission was at a LOW or MEDIUM rate.
3. Social distance requirements are increased from three feet to six feet in public areas of the Courthouse and courtrooms, which means jury trials will only take place in courtrooms that can accommodate this social distancing. This is a CHANGE from the previous order.
4. Judicial Officers are encouraged to continue court proceedings by video conference whenever possible, but the same is not required. The court notes that the norm in this Courthouse, except for jury trials, has continued to be virtual court hearings whenever possible. When in-person proceedings occur, citizens should maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet. Parties may briefly remove masks to address the court, parties, or jurors at their option. The judges are not required to wear masks, provided a plexiglass barrier is reinstalled at the judicial bench. This is a CHANGE from the previous order.
5. Should the Covid 19 level for Douglas County change from HIGH to MEDIUM status, the court will revise this order accordingly.
Read the entire order here.