Jury trials resume in Pima County; differ from pre-pandemic

FILE - Generic gavel on wooden table.

Jury trials have resumed at Pima County Superior Court, but they are different from the way they were before the COVID-19 pandemic a year ago.

Instead of sitting together in a jury box, jurors now sit throughout the courtroom behind plexiglass partitions.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that it’s one of several new measures aimed at allowing trials to happen safely.

Court officials say crime victims and their families now have separate viewing areas outside the courtroom to limit the number of people inside.

There is also a new questionnaire that allows potential jurors to raise COVID 19-based concerns.

RELATED: Arizona courts eye ways to hold jury trials during pandemic

Jurors are not required to have a coronavirus vaccination. But everyone who comes to court must wear a mask, maintain social distancing and have their temperature checked.

Pima County Presiding Judge Kyle Bryson ordered last year that jury trials be paused until local infection rates improved, according to the Star.

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Monitor your health daily


Coronavirus in Arizona: Latest case numbers

MORE: How to sign up and schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

MORE: Maricopa County COVID-19 vaccine status updates

MORE: Arizona Dept. of Health COVID-19 vaccine prioritization

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.

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