Marion County Courts reinstate mask, social distancing requirements

The Marion County Circuit and Superior Courts have announced they will again require visitors and employees to wear face masks in local courthouses beginning Tuesday due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the county, regardless of vaccination status.

A Monday order from the state’s largest trial court system requires all individuals ages 2 and up to wear protective face coverings while in one a Marion County courthouse facility, including the City-County Building, Juvenile Justice Complex and Traffic Court.

Calls to mask up in court come in response to the increased number of Hoosiers contracting COVID-19 in Marion County in recent weeks “due in part to the fast-spreading Delta variant,” according to the order signed by Indianapolis judges on Monday.

The order, which goes into effect Tuesday, also notes that Marion County is in the “high risk” category as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for disease transmission.

According to a Monday news release from the Indianapolis courts, Marion County’s COVID positivity rate has increased to 10.5%. Also, “over the last seven days, the Marion Superior Court has experienced the highest simultaneous number of positive cases amongst employees, lawyers and jurors since the beginning of the Pandemic,” affecting both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

“The Indiana Office of Court Services has also urged courts to remain attentive and exercise flexibility in adjusting local operations to address fluid concerns,” according to the news release.

Face masks should be worn properly by covering the nose and mouth, the order says. If someone doesn’t have a face covering of their own before entering one of the courthouses, a mask will be provided.

When it comes to social distancing, all individuals or household units are requested by the court to maintain as much social distancing as is reasonably permitted in the courthouse facilities.

“This Order shall remain in effect until further order by the Marion Circuit Court,” the order states.

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