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Courts remain open despite COVID-19 cases




The judiciary has recklessly endangered the lives of others by failing to close the Magistrates’ Court Complex, although a worker has tested positive for COVID-19.


Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes and his staff have quietly gone into quarantine as a result of the positive case.


The police officer assigned to Forbes’ court has also been asked to quarantine, though other officers in the cell block remain at work.


However, other people who came into contact with those in quarantine are still coming to work, possibly fueling an outbreak.


A bulletin posted on Court 8’s door on April 22 said that matters scheduled would be adjourned in Court 7 until further notice.


Many lawyers thought it was a bad idea for the Magistrates’ Courts to resume trials last month, despite an uptick in COVID-19 infections.


The Supreme Court remained open last week, although two cleaners tested positive for COVID-19.


Though the courts are called upon to impose penalties for breaking COVID-19 restrictions, the court often breaks rules designed to curb the spread of COVID-19.


For example, social distancing is virtually nonexistent at court and the building often runs out of hand sanitizer and soap in the bathroom.


Cleaning supplies are also in scant supply. Workers responsible for ‘sanitizing’ the courts between cases are using the same dirty rag to wipe down frequently touched areas with generic disinfectant spray.


But Chief Justice Brian Moree, who was forced to quarantine last year after he was exposed to COVID-19, has refused to close the courts or hire professional cleaners.

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