June 1, 2021

Federal Courthouse Mask, Distancing Policies Updated

The Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Indianapolis. - FILE: Doug Jaggers/WFYI

The Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Indianapolis.

FILE: Doug Jaggers/WFYI

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Fully vaccinated individuals will be allowed to enter public areas of the four courthouses of the federal Southern District of Indiana without wearing a face covering or observing social distancing.

Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt issued a general order last week outlining the new policy, which takes effect next Monday.

It says members of the public who are not fully vaccinated still must wear face coverings and practice social distancing throughout the courthouses. An exception may be made for someone providing documentation that they are unable, for medical reasons, to wear a face covering.

A fully vaccinated individual is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as anyone two weeks after receiving the second shot of a two-dose vaccine series or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine.

Agencies located in the courthouses can set face covering and social distancing policies in their own spaces. Judges have the authority to determine such policies in their courtrooms and chambers.

To provide jurors peace of mind, all vaccinated and non-vaccinated persons summoned for jury duty and court staff interacting with them must wear face coverings and adhere to social distancing requirements while in areas designated for jurors.

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