Maryland courts will begin holding jury trials again next week, the state judiciary system said Tuesday as it begins the fifth and final phase of its COVID-19 reopening plans.

Beginning Monday, jury trials will resume in in criminal and civil cases in circuit courts statewide, the Maryland Judiciary announced in a statement.

Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera said changes have been made in courtrooms to deal with the pandemic.

“Jury trials require the assembly of large groups of citizens in order to allow the selection of an impartial jury,” Barbera said. “New courtroom layouts include plexiglass shields and distancing seating.”

The Maryland Judiciary also posted a video outlining how jury assembly rooms, deliberation rooms and courtrooms have been modified to comply with state and federal guidelines on cleaning and social distancing.

Anyone entering a state courthouse is required to wear a mask or face covering, answer questions about COVID-19-related symptoms and submit to a contactless thermometer temperature check.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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