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Virus stops jury trials

by KAYE THORNBRUGH
Staff Writer | November 30, 2021 1:00 AM

A rising COVID-19 case rate has again halted jury trials in the five northern counties.

Jury trials for the week of Dec. 6 are suspended in Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone counties.

Rich Christensen, Administrative District Judge of the First District, signed an order Friday pausing trials pursuant to the Idaho Supreme Court’s Nov. 23 emergency order.

If a county’s seven-day moving average incident rate of confirmed or presumed cases of COVID-19 is 25.0 or greater per 100,000 population, jury trials must be postponed.

In the Idaho Panhandle, the seven-day moving incidence rates are as follows:

  • 122.9 in Benewah County
  • 60.9 in Bonner County
  • 40.5 in Boundary County
  • 32.1 in Kootenai County
  • 38.8 in Shoshone County

Masks are required in court facilities, per the order.

Individuals must also maintain a minimum of six feet of physical distance from anyone not of the same household.

The order will remain in effect in each county until the respective seven-day moving average incidence rate falls below 25.0, as determined by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

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