CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Jury trials can resume in West Virginia’s court system.
The state Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for trials to resume starting Monday. Guidance given to judicial officers on Friday outlined ways that judges and circuit clerks can protect health and safety during the coronavirus pandemic, the court said in a news release.
Chief Justice Tim Armstead said defendants’ rights related to a trial by their peers “must be respected even during a sustained health emergency.” He said trial participants will be required to wear masks or face coverings in courtrooms and related facilities, and social distancing will be enforced.
People with COVID-19 symptoms or those suspected of coming into contact with someone with the virus will not be allowed to enter judicial buildings.
Circuit judges and clerks will be given discretion to determine whether people can be excused or disqualified from jury duty due to virus-related circumstances. Potential jurors who recently traveled out-of-state may have their service delayed until they have isolated themselves for 14 days, the statement said.