Del. courts to lift judicial emergency July 13th, mask mandate ending
WILMINGTON, Del. – Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz, Jr., in consultation with other Justices of the Delaware Supreme Court, the Presiding Judges of all Courts, and health experts, signed what is hoped to be the final order extending the judicial emergency to July 13th.
This is the 16th extension of the original order, which was first declared on March 16, 2020. The lifting of this state of emergency will allow for the restoration of normal court rules and procedures including amended speedy trial guidelines that were placed on hold during the pandemic. The judicial workforce is also authorized to return to 100% staffing starting July 6th.
In addition, the Delaware Courts will be dropping the mask mandate on July 1st for fully vaccinated individuals, including both employees and visitors to state courthouses. Those who are not yet fully vaccinated or are immunocompromised must continue to wear masks in Delaware Court facilities, and those who are more comfortable wearing a mask should do so without hesitancy.
Other COVID-19 precautions will remain in place for now, including social distancing and the use of plexiglass shields throughout court facilities.
The Court has also adopted special rules for cases delayed by the pandemic to hear those cases in a timely manner. Jury trials have now resumed in Superior Court in all three counties, Court of Common Pleas will be resuming jury trials in August and the Chief Justice says all courts will continue giving priority to all pandemic-delayed criminal cases.