Missouri Supreme Court lifts COVID directives for judiciary

Jefferson City News Tribune
Jefferson City News Tribune

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court is lifting directives for the state's courts aimed at protecting the safety of employees and the public during the coronavirus pandemic.

Court officials said the restrictions were being lifted June 15 because of a decrease in the national and local levels of COVID-19 cases and the effectiveness and availability of vaccines, the Jefferson City News Tribune reported. 

The Supreme Court last revised its directives in March, saying local courts could operate in one of four operating phases. Each phase reflected differing approaches to in-person proceedings, personnel and staffing, and courthouse operations.

The new order applies to Missouri's appellate and circuit courts, including associate, family, juvenile, treatment, municipal and probate divisions.

Court officials said local local chief and presiding judges may determine whether to continue precautions, based on local health conditions and recommended federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

The state Department of Health and Senior Services reported that as of Friday, more than 2.5 million Missouri residents or 41.6% of the state's 6.2 million people had received at least a first vaccine shot.