LA County Courthouses lift mask mandate

The Los Angeles County Superior Court will lift its mandatory face mask order on April 4, officials announced Friday.

The court will continue to strongly recommend the use of medical masks or properly fitted respirators inside all courthouses to align with the LA County Public Health Department’s most recent health order, the Superior Court said in a news release.

“For two years, the Court has followed guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and LADPH, while balancing public health and safe access to justice in the largest trial court of the country,” Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor said in a written statement. “Since the winter surge of COVID-19 peaked in LA County in mid-January, LADPH reports that “case and test positivity rates and hospitalizations have steadily declined.” These benchmarks have guided the Court’s measured approach during the pandemic.

A list of the 37 affected courthouses can be viewed here.

The Superior Court first implemented a mandatory face mask policy on June 5, 2020.

The new statement points out that the court delayed its face mask policy changes for at least two weeks after the public health department changed its policy, “consistent with its measured approach … which has served the Court well.”

“I would like to thank the public, jurors, court workers, court officers and justice partners for getting vaccinated, following public health advice and helping the Court prioritize access safe to justice since March 2020,” Judge Taylor said.

The judge said the The Superior Court will continue to follow the advice of local, state and federal public health experts while remaining vigilant in monitoring emerging virus threats.

“I want to emphasize that we continue to implore all visitors to wear masks in our courthouses,” Judge Taylor said. “We should all take the LADPH recommendations on mask wearing seriously.”

Taylor said he strongly encourages litigants and attorneys to take advantage of the courtroom’s remote appearance technology and court service options.

“Call centers for clerk’s offices, family law, self-help and traffic issues, as well as numerous online self-service tools, have many benefits beyond the convenience, including reduced childcare costs, gas consumption and pollution,” the press release read.

The court’s remote appearance technology, LACourtConnect, is available for appearances in civil, family law, small claims, probate, unlawful detention and traffic cases.

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