Following the recommendations of the state of Illinois and Kane County Health Department officials, the 16th Judicial Circuit will again require mask wearing of all persons entering Kane County courthouses per General Order 21-18.
Chief Judge Clint Hull cited that COVID-19 pandemic infection rates have increased to such a degree that court operations needed to include the reinstatement of mask wearing in order to protect the health and safety of the public, circuit court judges, and court employees.
Effective Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, entry into any Kane County court facility will require all individuals to wear a face mask regardless of their vaccination status.
Reasonable accommodations will be provided for individuals with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from safely wearing masks/face coverings.
An individual who is not medically able to tolerate a mask/face covering due to a medical condition or disability should contact the court’s disability coordinator as soon as possible in advance of the scheduled court proceeding so that appropriate and reasonable accommodations can be made.
All persons, including courtroom personnel, must wear masks/face coverings when inside all courtrooms, unless the presiding judge of the courtroom gives permission to remove the mask/face covering.
Persons may also be denied entry into Kane County courthouses if they have flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, or shortness of breath (excluding symptoms caused by chronic conditions), or have been directed to quarantine or isolate at home by a medical provide or public health official.
Hull said of reinstating the use of face masks is the right course of action.
“We at the 16th Circuit have kept our court-users health and safety at the forefront of every decision we’ve made throughout this pandemic, while allowing for equal access to justice,” he said. “Remote (Zoom) court continues to be available in most courtrooms and requiring face masks again is just another layer in keeping us safe.”
For further information, contact Andrea O’Brien, deputy court administrator, at O’BrienAndrea@16thCircuit.IllinoisCourts.gov
SOURCE: Kane County 16th Circuit Court news release