HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Jurors will again be summoned to Connecticut courthouses beginning June 1, the chief court administrator announced Tuesday.
Judge Patrick L. Carroll III said personnel will re-inspect all Judicial Branch buildings and courtrooms where trials will be held to make sure appropriate COVID-19 safety measures are in place. That includes having ample supplies of personal protective equipment, hand sanitizing stations, protective microphone coverings in courtrooms and face shields for witnesses, so their facial expressions can be seen when testifying.
“The time has come for us to restore the essential and fundamental component of our system of justice – the right to a trial by jury,” Carroll said in a statement.
Carroll linked the branch’s decision to resume jury trials to the broad availability of vaccines in Connecticut, the rollback of various pandemic-related restrictions, and enhanced sanitation and ventilation protocols in Judicial Branch buildings, which have been retrofitted to make them more safe.
The announcement was made one day before most the state’s remaining COVID-19 restrictions on businesses are scheduled to be lifted, including capacity limits and curfews.
As anticipated, Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday signed an executive order that requires only people who aren’t fully vaccinated to wear a face mask indoors in a public place. A person is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving their final dose of an approved vaccine.
His latest order states that any business, nonprofit organization, property owner, health care facility, or state, regional, or municipal government agency may still require both vaccinated and unvaccinated people to wear face masks. Businesses can also operate below 100% capacity if they want. This latest order will remain in effect through July 20, unless modified or terminated.
The state reported 81 newly confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases in Connecticut since Monday, while the number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 dropped by two patients, for a total of 168. Meanwhile, the number of COVID-associated deaths increased by four since Monday, for a total of 8,198 people.