11-12-20 Court Update
CLEVELAND - November 12, 2020 - The Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas has reported at least eleven more positive Covid-19 tests this week, including five new positive tests today, November 12, under the Court’s new reporting protocol.
In an email to CMBA last week, Administrative and Presiding Judge Brendan Sheehan acknowledged the "alarming" increase in Covid-19 cases.
"I have encouraged our Judges to do as much work as possible without bringing people into the Justice Center. This has allowed the Prosecutor’s Office to move to more of a work-from-home model. I have also asked our Judges to resume the Monday/Wednesday, Tuesday/Thursday operations to the extent possible. As you know, we have competing interests in protecting the health of those coming in the building and the necessity to move cases forward to resolution."
The Court's Judges voted last week to suspend jury trials until at least December 1st. Judge Sheehan says they will continue to monitor operations and make changes further changes as needed.
You can see details and the latest reports at:
October Court Update
The Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas has reported at least six more positive Covid-19 tests this week under the Court’s new reporting protocol. You can see details and the latest reports at https://cp.cuyahogacounty.us/court-information/covid-19-positive-tests/.
Administrative and Presiding Judge Brendan Sheehan agrees with many lawyers and court employees that the infection rate is “alarming.” Judge Sheehan goes on to put these positive tests in perspective.
“There are a few things to keep in mind: 1) outside of one case in April, we have not experienced person-to-person spread in the Justice Center. To our knowledge, all cases have come from exposure outside of the Justice Center, usually through family or friend interactions where masks were not being worn. 2) The positivity rate in Cuyahoga County for the week of October 21-27 was 6.7% of all tests performed and 1.24% overall. Using all of our reported cases, since March, the Court’s positivity rate is 3%. Looking at the cases reported just in the past week, the rate goes down even farther. 3) We continue to enforce those behaviors which we know reduce transmission: wearing masks, washing hands, and cleaning.”
The Judges of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas previously voted to suspend jury trials if Cuyahoga County reaches “purple” status, the highest level of Covid alert. That has not happened, but Judge Sheehan says they are constantly evaluating the data and the Court will issue new statements and guidelines as needed.