I recently returned to the New Castle County Courthouse for the first time since the initial declaration of a Judicial Emergency by the Court back in March. For those that are curious, here is what you can expect:
- Upon entering the Courthouse, I was asked to confirm that I was not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19—I was not required to have a temperature check.
- Information desks now have Plexiglas dividers to separate the public from Court staff.
- Elevators have restrictions on the number of occupants.
- Masks are strictly enforced—I observed a bailiff directing an individual to cover his nose with his mask.
- In the courtrooms there are Plexiglas dividers at counsel tables (image below) and between the court staff and Judge.
- Hand sanitizer was found on all counsel tables and at the podium – additionally, the Court staff had a disinfectant spray for the microphone at the podium.
- Masks remained on during argument, however I don’t know whether this was a requirement or our practice.
- All parties in the courtroom were required to sign in and provide contact information in order to facilitate contact tracing if necessary.
- Although the Court is now in Phase 3 of its reopening plan, which allows for up to 75% capacity, I only encountered a few people and far less than 75% capacity.
Additional statements and advisories from the Delaware Judiciary regarding COVID-19, can be found here.