November 24, 2020

Vermont Judiciary Responds to Increased COVID-19 Cases Across Vermont

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Judiciary following Department of Health and CDC guidelines for response

The Vermont Judiciary today reminded the public of its policies and procedures in place as the state experiences increased cases of COVID-19 in every corner of Vermont. The Judiciary reiterates its commitment to the safety of its employees and the public as it carries out its important and constitutionally protected work.

“These are unprecedented times and the Judiciary is committed to continuing its work on behalf of Vermonters while following all Department of Health guidelines to prevent or quell increased cases in our courtrooms and communities,” said Patricia Gabel, Esq., Vermont State Court Administrator. “When there are cases that impact those who interact with the Judiciary, we follow guidelines for reporting, including notifying staff, all other agencies that occupy the building and any attorneys or litigants who have attended hearings. Staff then cooperate fully with contact tracing conducted by the Department of Health,” she explained.

Gabel noted that the Judiciary has safety protocols in place every day, including a mask requirement, social distancing rules, plexiglass barriers, daily health surveys of all who enter court facilities, and careful disinfecting of surfaces.

“To provide increased safety, we have also allowed certain matters before our courts to proceed virtually and delayed certain types of trials that would require many individuals gathering together in person,” she stated. “We make all decisions with guidance from Department of Health and CDC protocols.”

Detail regarding the steps the Judiciary is taking to promote safe operations during the pandemic is available on the COVID-19 page of the Judiciary’s website at www.vermontjudiciary.org/COVID19. Information about being called for jury duty, serving as a juror, requesting a deferral from jury service for medical or other reasons, and about court operations and plans is available on these pages. This information will be updated as conditions warrant.