County Superior Court Take Two After Potential COVID-19 Exposure
Officials with Yakima County Superior Court continue to try and protect people from COVID-19 while trying to conduct normal court operations and trials.
A JURY POOL WAS DISMISSED THIS WEEK AFTER AN INCIDENT
In fact on Monday jurors who were brought into the Yakima County Courthouse for a trial were dismissed after one of the jurors didn't tell officials that their spouse was sick with COVID-19. The situation could have exposed a lot of the jurors to the virus. The Yakima County Superior Court Administrator Jessica Humphreys says since the jury panel was dismissed they've taken every precaution to sanitize the courtrooms and have "re-implemented the use of the health screening questions to prevent this from happening in the future."
She says she's working closely with the Yakima County Clerk's office to make sure the jury website and the jury office recording include the three health questions;
Are you sick with respiratory symptoms, a fever, or a cough, or have you experienced the loss of taste or smell?
Is someone in your household currently under observation for or being treated for COVID-19?
Have you had direct contact with an individual who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days?
Humphreys says if a juror answers “yes” to any of these questions, "they are released for the day and given a card with the jury office contact information so that they can call the jury office and discuss the situation further."
Yakima County Prosector Joe Brusic says Humphreys "and all her colleagues that assist her have done a spectacular job utilizing the SunDome and now the County Courthouse to keep Superior Court jury trials moving and allowing cases to be processed. Without their efforts, our felony criminal jury trials would have ground to a halt. Resolution of cases would have nearly ceased."
Humphreys says they continue to "follow guidelines from the CDC and the State Department of Health which have been to encourage individuals to wear a mask while in a crowded indoor setting regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask. "