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New Supreme Court order encourages wearing masks in judicial buildings due to Delta variant

Bill Stephens

August 9th, 2021

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FRANKFORT, Ky., Aug. 9, 2020 — Today the Supreme Court of Kentucky issued an order encouraging anyone entering a judicial center, courthouse or other judicial facility to wear a mask in light of the outbreak of the COVID-19 Delta variant in Kentucky. This order is in line with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. The order also states that a chief circuit judge can mandate masks for a judicial facility.

Administrative Order 2021-27 replaces Administrative Order 2021-16 and includes these changes: Clarifies that use of masks or other facial coverings is strongly encouraged for all individuals, in compliance with current CDC guidelines; Clarifies that the Chief Circuit Judge, in consultation with the Chief District Judge and the Circuit Clerk, can mandate use of masks for an entire judicial facility; Updates list of individuals at high risk for COVID-19, per current CDC guidance; Updates and consolidates the list of quarantine/isolation requirements by referring to current CDC guidance; and Deletes outdated language regarding renewal of expired driver’s licenses, permits, and identification cards. 

The Supreme Court also issued Administrative Order 2021-28 today. The order replaces Administrative Order 2021-17 and includes these changes: Deletes obsolete language regarding grand juries and show cause dockets; Updates list of individuals at high risk for COVID-19, per current CDC guidance; Deletes language referring to the expired CDC moratorium on evictions.  You can find ongoing court updates on the COVID-19 and the Courts webpage.

About the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the state court of last resort and the final interpreter of Kentucky law. Seven justices sit on the Supreme Court and all seven justices rule on appeals that come before the court. The justices are elected from seven appellate districts and serve eight-year terms. A chief justice, chosen for a four-year term by fellow justices, is the administrative head of the state’s court system and is responsible for its operation. The Supreme Court may order a ruling or opinion to be published, which means that the ruling becomes the case law governing all similar cases in the future in Kentucky.

Administrative Office of the Courts

The Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort is the operations arm of the state court system. The AOC supports the activities of nearly 3,300 court system employees and 406 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC executes the Judicial Branch budget.
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