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November 20, 2020
COVID-19 SCREENING PROTOCOLS IMPLEMENTED AT COURT AND COUNTY FACILITIES
Effective November 20, 2020, all persons entering a judicial facility at a public or manned security entrance will be subject to Covid-19 virus screening protocols. At entrances manned by Sheriff’s security staff all persons will be subject to a temperature check. Any individual who fails to comply with the protocols or temperature check will be denied entry. Any person who answers affirmatively to any question of the questionnaire or has a temperature that equals or exceeds 100.4°will be denied entry. Any person denied entry will be given information on the office or agency they need to contact for further directions regarding insuring their case is continued and when it will be rescheduled. The protocol for Franklin County is attached to this press release.
As President Judge, I am requesting that all bar members take an active and engaged role in helping keep the areas you work in free from infection. Please use the screening tool in advance of court appearances to make sure you and your clients and witnesses will be able to pass the screening upon arrival at any court facility, regardless of whether it is manned or unmanned. If you have reason to request a continuance make it in advance of the hearing. When possible, meet your clients outside the courthouse and determine if they will or will not pass the screening protocol. Discourage non-essential persons from attending proceedings. If you believe that your matter can be properly presented to the court via videoconferencing or teleconference, reach out to the judge’s chambers in advance to request a status conference with the judge to see if the judge will agree to proceed without an in person appearance.
We are all in this together. The FCBA membership has a long history of cooperatively working with the Board of Judges and Court Administration to accomplish many important initiatives. Now more than ever, we need your assistance to insure the safety of each and every person that occupies a court facility, be it a row office, Magisterial District Judge’s office, or courtroom. I especially want to thank the members of the FCBA Covid-19 Ad Hoc Committee for the exchange of information we have shared throughout the pandemic. For up-to-date information, visit: CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
Department of Health: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
For more information, please contact Mark Singer, District Court Administrator for the 39th Judicial District, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-261-3848.
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