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Traveling judges, court staff may need to self-quarantine

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Supreme Court sealJudges and court employees planning to travel internationally, take a cruise, or travel to an area of the Unites States “experiencing a community spread” of the novel coronavirus must notify their chief judge in advance of such travel, and those who have concluded such trips must self-quarantine and not return to work for 14 days.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady issued an administrative order on March 16 with those requirements as concern continues to spread statewide, nationally, and internationally about the COVID-19 virus that causes novel coronavirus.

The order said areas experiencing a community spread of COVID-19 will be identified either by the federal Center for Disease Control or a state public health agency.

“To the extent judges [returning from trips] can perform their duties remotely, they must do so,” Canady wrote in the administrative order. “Employees will need to utilize their available sick, annual, or compensatory leave during this 14-day period, or consult with their supervisor and their court’s telework policy about options for working remotely. Court employees without available leave and who are unable to work remotely may be subject to leave without pay. If no symptoms occur within the 14-day time period, judges and employees may return to work, subject to any additional requirements that may be imposed by the CDC, a state public health agency, the Chief Justice, or the chief judge, as a result of the state of emergency.”

The chief justice also wrote: “This rapidly evolving situation will be monitored closely on an ongoing basis, and additional orders will be issued as necessary.”

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