By CBS Baltimore Staff

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland courts have ordered that all jury selections be postponed until early February, citing the recent surge the state has seen in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

The court also delayed a grand jury selection and canceled a grand jury session scheduled for the first week of January, saying it will review data on a week-by-week basis to determine whether any grand jury sessions will be held.

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The decision to postpone those proceedings was based on several factors, including Maryland’s COVID-19 positivity rate, rising cases and hospitalizations, along with new measures imposed by local governments.

“In recent days, certain triggering criteria have once again been met,” the order said.

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As of Monday, the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Maryland stood at 16.54%. Additionally, the Department of Health reported over 30,000 new cases of COVID-19 since Thursday, and hospitalizations have topped 1,700.

Federal jury and grand jury selections are postponed at least until February 8.

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Besides putting jury proceedings on hold, the court order places limits on who’s allowed to enter federal courthouses and probation offices. The following people are not allowed inside those facilities:

  • Unvaccinated people who are unable to prove they’ve tested negative within 72 hours;
  • People diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 10 days and presumptive positive cases;
  • Unvaccinated people who have had contact with COVID-19 positive people within 14 days;
  • People who have been directed to self-quarantine by a healthcare professional/agency;
  • People who have a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher;
  • People who have demonstrated COVID-19 symptoms within the last 10 days;
  • Unvaccinated people who have returned from an international or cruise trip within 14 days;
  • Unvaccinated people who have been released from incarceration within the past 14 days.

CBS Baltimore Staff