Whitman County judge releases regulations to prevent spread of COVID-19

People must wear masks, wash hands frequently, have temperature taken; social distancing markers placed along courtrooms



A judge from the Whitman County Superior Court has issued a health order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while in the courtroom.

BRADLEY GAMBLE, Evergreen reporter

Judge Gary Libey of the Whitman County Superior Court released safety regulations to be implemented in courtrooms to minimize possible exposure to COVID-19.

The new regulations state any person who is sick or in quarantine will be unable to enter the courtroom, according to the courtroom safety order

Everyone will have their temperature checked before entering the courtroom, according to the order. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above will be retested after 10 minutes, if the person’s temperature does not lower then they will be excused.

Staff and visitors are expected to wash their hands frequently and use hand sanitizer when applicable, according to the order. Frequently-touched surfaces will be disinfected periodically.

Courtrooms have a limited capacity to enforce social distancing guidelines, according to the order. This means fewer people will be allowed in the courtroom at one time. There are social distancing markers along the courtroom and court administration areas to indicate proper distancing.

People must wear masks covering their nose and mouth in order to enter the courtrooms, according to the order. The court may ask active participants to remove their mask for clear communication and due process. Active participants include the judge, witnesses, court staff and anyone seated at the council table. 

More safety measures may be implemented if needed, according to the order. 

On April 29, the Washington State Supreme Court suspended all civil and criminal jury trials until July 6.