Florida courts are preparing for the Coronavirus
Florida’s courts are preparing for the new coronavirus, COVID-19, with proven procedures and basic preventive advice.
Its work so far relies on recent updates of longstanding plans and procedures to protect employees and stakeholders, contain the spread of infectious diseases of all kinds, and ensure ongoing access to justice.
“Watch and prepare. Those are the best words of advice I can give all of you as we follow developments about this novel virus,” said Florida Chief Justice Charles T. Canady. “There currently are no Florida cases. There certainly is no cause for undue alarm. But we know there is a potential for this disease to affect the courts and our entire legal system in the weeks ahead. So, I urge everyone to update their office and personal emergency plans and listen carefully as public health agencies tell us what to expect.”
The Court Emergency Management Group (CEMG) has met to discuss COVID-19. Jurisdictions throughout the State Courts System have been reminded to review plans and inform employees of strategies for reducing transmission of all infectious diseases. A statewide call of jurisdictions throughout the state is scheduled for Friday with emergency preparedness and human resources staff.
Pandemic preparation and readiness are a central part of strategic planning and the branch’s continuity of operations plan, or COOP. Both contemplate the possibility of pandemics and have been previously implemented effectively when other diseases have prompted national and global concern.
Resources and tips from the National Center for State Courts and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been provided to employees and put into practice. The state’s Department of Health has set up a web page about Florida’s COVID-19 response at www.floridahealth.gov/covid-19.