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Jury trials may resume Dec. 6, under revised COVID-19 guidelines for Idaho courts

The Idaho Supreme Court modified its order as COVID-19 rates "have generally decreased." Oversight of precautions returns to local judicial districts.
Ada County courtroom.

BOISE, Idaho — A revised order on COVID-19 precautions for Idaho courts returns oversight of those precautions to the state's seven local judicial districts.

The Idaho Supreme Court's order also says jury trials may resume starting the week of Dec. 6 unless one or both of the following conditions are present in a particular county:

  • The county's seven-day moving average incidence rate of confirmed or presumed cases of COVID-19 reaches 25 or more cases per 100,000 population.
  • Crisis standards of care are in effect for the public health district the county is within.

If either of the above conditions is present, courthouse visitors in the affected county must wear masks and maintain social distancing. Individual judges have the flexibility to order a hearing be held online, or to order masking or social distancing in their courtrooms.

Crisis standards of care were deactivated Monday for six of Idaho's seven public health districts; they remain active in the Panhandle district, which includes Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone counties.

The order returning oversight of courthouse COVID-19 precautions to each local judicial district's administrative judge takes effect Wednesday. Under that order, the administrative judge is responsible for "adequate measures reflecting local conditions," according to a news release from the Idaho Supreme Court.

"In light of the improving circumstances … we have concluded that further modification of our safety protocols is now warranted," the Court's order states.

The order announced Tuesday replaces previous COVID-19 emergency orders issued Sept. 22 and Oct. 6. The complete text of the order is available here.

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