ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland judiciary personnel must either get vaccinated for COVID-19 or submit to weekly tests in order to report to work, according to an order issued Friday by Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera.

“These are necessary measures to safeguard judges, employees, and court visitors from the spread of the COVID-19 virus and more contagious Delta variant to the greatest extent possible,” Barbera said in a statement. “More than half of Judiciary personnel already have been vaccinated, and I am confident that all personnel understand the importance of maintaining safe workplaces to protect staff and the people we serve.”

Barbera’s order notes that coronavirus transmission levels across Maryland are at levels the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention would consider substantial or high.

In April, the courts entered the fifth phase of their five-phase plan to resume operations. All Maryland courts are fully operational and jury trials have resumed.

CBS Baltimore Staff