UPDATE: COVID Outbreak Postpones Mecklenburg County Court Sessions
Updated Aug. 11
Mecklenburg County District and Superior Court sessions this week have been postponed after several employees at the county courthouse in Charlotte tested positive for COVID-19.
The 26th Judicial Circuit of North Carolina made the announcement Sunday and updated it Wednesday. A news release from the court system said there could be “limited exceptions” but that otherwise, District and Superior Court sessions would be rescheduled for Wednesday or later — if it’s deemed safe to open then.
Five people who worked at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse tested positive for COVID on Friday and Saturday, and “a number of others” who have reported symptoms are waiting for test results, the court system said. Nearly 30 employees have been told to quarantine.
The county health department said the courthouse should be temporarily closed “to prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19 among court personnel and members of the public,” the court system said in the announcement.
Mecklenburg County’s latest update on COVID-19 numbers, which has information through Aug. 4, showed an average of 394 positive tests for the virus over the previous week — and steadily rising cases throughout July and early August. Infections have been rising across the state as well. There have been more than 1 million confirmed COVID cases in North Carolina since the start of the pandemic — at least 121,000 of them in Mecklenburg.
The county said about 12% of people being tested for the virus during the last week of reported data had COVID. More than 1,700 people in the state were hospitalized for the coronavirus on Friday.
Here are some other things to know about the temporary closure, according to the court system:
- First appearance hearings scheduled pursuant to NCGS Chapter 15A will be heard remotely via WebEx in Courtroom 4150 and felony probation probable cause hearings will be heard as scheduled in Superior Court.
- All secured custody hearings scheduled pursuant to NCGS 7B1906 will be heard remotely via WebEx using the link for Courtroom 8390.
- Ex parte requests for temporary domestic violence protection orders, motions for temporary injunctive relief, and motions for non-secure custody of a juvenile pursuant to NCGS Chapter 7B should be made before a district court judge assigned to the public window in the Mecklenburg County jail.
- People seeking to file legal documents may use the secure receptacle designated by the Mecklenburg County clerk of Superior Court or submit their filings by mail. Jurors scheduled to report on Aug. 9-13 are excused, and jurors currently serving on a trial should not return to the courthouse until Aug. 13 unless otherwise notified.