“It’s going to be a busy summer,” said court administrator Wayne Gilkison.
Last month in a two-week period, four jury trials were held in judges’ regular courtrooms.
Gilkison said it was always up to the judge to determine if the courtroom specially fitted for coronavirus concerns was used, and in some cases, jurors indicated it felt a bit claustrophobic. They opted to wear masks and use hand sanitizer and stay in the standard courtrooms.
Gilkison said the special coronavirus safety fittings will be stored in case they are needed in the future.
“We just don’t know what will happen in the future,” he said.
Gilkison said it is a return to some normalcy with plenty of jury trials coming up in the next few months.
“From November (2020) to February (2021), when we were in a really bad spot because of the virus limitations, we kept a master list of scheduled jury trials and the judges worked together so the courtroom was not over-booked,” Gilkison said.
He said now, a jury trial could be held in all seven common pleas courtrooms at the same time.
“It would be pretty busy, but it could happen,” Gilkison said.
In Warren County, judges decided masks were no longer required in the courthouse beginning May 20. The new order says the masks are permitted, but must be removed at the direction of judges. It also says that people with fever or experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 should not enter the courtroom.