The state’s court system will begin to reopen in areas that are given approval by Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week, the Office of Court Administration on Wednesday said.
The state’s top judiciary and court officials plan to gradually reopen courthouses starting on Monday in five judicial districts spread across 30 upstate counties: Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates, Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and Schoharie; followed by Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties on Wednesday, May 20.
Several regions of upstate New York have met benchmarks for reopening their economies this week as hospitalizations decline and testing ramps up.
The court system has sought to limit operations during the COVID pandemic, consolidated facilities and implemented virtual court operations.
There will be precautions taken when courthouses reopen.
Visits will be required to undergo COVID-19 screening before entering, and all staff who interact with court visitors must wear a mask.
Anyone entering a courthouse will be required to wear a mask and masks will be available for use.
Courtrooms and other areas will be marked for physical distancing.
The facilities will be sanitized regularly and hand sanitizer dispensers will be available throughout the courthouse.
“I look forward to next week’s return of judges and staff to courthouse facilities in many of our upstate counties−marking a major first step in our resumption to in-person court operations,” said Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.