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Trials at Ward County Courthouse postponed due to courthouse employee tested positive for coronavirus

All trials previously scheduled to take place at the Ward County Courthouse for Aug. 3 to Aug. 23 are to be postponed because someone at the courthouse has tested positive for the new coronavirus, Judge Todd Cresap announced in open court on Monday.

Cresap said this means there will be a shortage of available court reporters for trials and there is also a shortage of other courts employees that means trials cannot be held for the next few weeks.

One trial that had been scheduled to start Monday had to be postponed and is likely to be rescheduled for September.

The courthouse has been taking precautions against the coronavirus at jury trials, which resumed earlier this summer after being temporarily called off due to the coronavirus pandemic. A plexiglass screen was installed on the witness stand in one courtroom at the Ward County Courthouse and jurors have been seated a row apart to maintain social distancing. Face masks are also made available.

Cresap said Monday that Judge Gary Lee, the head judge of the North Central Judicial District, will be issuing a statement that more fully explains the situation and plans for upcoming trials.

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