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Supreme Court Issues Order Clarifying Protocols For Entering Courthouses During Pandemic

The Tennessee Supreme Court today issued a supplement to its November 17, 2020 Order that further clarifies the protocols judges, attorneys, court staff, and others should follow when entering a courthouse during the pandemic. The November 17 Order continued the judicial state of emergency and suspended jury trials until January 31, 2021.

The supplement orders that all persons who, for the purpose of conducting court-related business, enter a courthouse or other building in which court facilities are located,including judges, lawyers, parties, witnesses, court clerks, and court officers, should strictly comply with the current guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control regarding quarantine of individuals who might have been exposed to COVID-19 and isolation of persons who are infected with the virus. As of the date of the order, those guidelines provide:

1) Individuals who have come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should quarantine until the tenth (10th) day following the exposure without testing or until the seventh (7th) day following the exposure with a negative test result. See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-aresick/quarantine.html

2) Individuals who think or know they had COVID-19 and who had symptoms should isolate for at least ten (10) days after symptoms first appeared, and for at least twenty-four (24) hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication, and until other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving. See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-aresick/isolation.html

3) Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms should isolate for ten (10) days following their positive test. See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-aresick/isolation.html

The Court’s November 17th Order said, in part:

“No participant in a proceeding, including judges, lawyers, parties, witnesses, clerks and court officers, shall appear in court or in a court-related proceeding, including a deposition, who has tested positive for COVID-19 until the participant has strictly complied with the requirements of the Centers for Disease Control regarding isolation of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.”

Today’s supplement provides further clarifications regarding those who have been exposed as well as those who have tested positive. Read today's supplement here.