The Massachusetts court system announced today it's going to have as many employees work at home next week and will reduce the number of in-person hearings at the state's trial courts to try to deter Covid-19 being spread by the newly infected but still asymptomatic.
Noting "the increasing COVID-19 infection rate in Massachusetts and the country, and using guidance from medical experts," trial courts will have extremely limited access between this Friday and Friday, Dec. 4. This means that, wherever possible, "matters already scheduled during this time will be held as virtual proceedings."
The reduction of in person hearings has the potential to significantly limit presymptomatic individuals from entering courthouses, and reduces the potential of those individuals infecting others.
Based on the growth rate over the last two weeks in exposure and positive tests for staff and court users, which resulted in court closures, Trial Court leaders have concluded that this plan is the best approach to balancing the need to provide access to courts and protecting the health and safety of court staff and court users.