Mask Policy Update, In-Person Court Appearances To Increase
Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, during her coronavirus update today, provided additional details about the mask policy in courthouses statewide and noted that court officials were planning to ramp up in-person trial activity in September.
DiFiore explained that under the new mask policy attorneys or agency staff who regularly conduct business in state court buildings may obtain a 90-day green pass allowing them into all areas of the courthouse without a face mask. To obtain a green pass, you must present a valid secure pass or official agency identification and proof of vaccination to a court officer at the entrance of the facility. The green pass is to be openly displayed on your person at all times inside the court facility.
Members of the public may obtain a one-day white visitor’s pass after showing valid identification and proof of vaccination to a court officer when entering the facility. The white pass or lapel sticker must be worn at all times on the outside of the visitor’s clothing.
Additionally, fully vaccinated judges and non-judicial personnel who have applied for and received orange identification cards no longer have to complete the court system’s health safety protocols and may enter and remain in any private or public area of the courthouse without wearing a mask or face covering.
Judges, court employees, attorneys, agency personnel and court visitors who have not been vaccinated or have not requested or received either an orange, green or white pass, are required to comply with all health safety protocols, including wearing a mask or face covering and having their temperatures taken.
“The changes to our mask policy have been implemented in keeping with our commitment to follow the guidance promulgated by the CDC, and the State Department of Health for individuals who have been fully vaccinated,” said DiFiore. “And, of course, these procedures are completely voluntary. Fully vaccinated judges, employees and court users who prefer to continue wearing a mask in our facilities are free to do so.”
DiFiore also noted that as of today, all arraignments – day, night and weekend – are back taking place in-person in New York City and across most of the state. Other court appearances are also taking place in person, especially in trial assignment parts.
DiFiore said that the number of in-person jury trials will continue to expand and that a significant increase in jury trials is planned for September.
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