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Yolo courts push February jury trials deeper into year on continued COVID-19 concerns

Sacramento Bee logoSacramento Bee 1/27/2021 Darrell Smith, The Sacramento Bee

Jan. 27—Jury trials set for February in Yolo County will now start later in the year as high COVID-19 rates push the proceedings off of the calendar.

Yolo Superior Court Presiding Judge Daniel P. Maguire cited the county's current virus transmission rates in announcing the decision Tuesday, calling it "the right thing to do."

Yolo County has logged nearly 11,100 cases since the beginning of the pandemic including 69 new reports on Monday, according to Yolo County Department of Health data. The county will remain in the state's purple widespread tier until at least Feb. 2.

"Given current virus transmission rates, it is now not safe to assemble juries," Maguire said in the statement, adding that court officials will "resume jury trials when it is practicable."

Yolo's courts are otherwise open and most matters are held via video conference.

Yolo Superior Court's decision Tuesday follows recent orders by Placer and Sacramento superior courts to delay jury trials in response to continued COVID-19 concerns.

Sacramento Superior Court has temporarily delayed jury service and jury trials through Friday. Placer court officials have also suspended jury trials through January and will convene jury trials "only in extraordinary circumstances" through Feb. 12.

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