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Posted on: May 26, 2021

Fully Vaccinated Individuals No Longer Required to Wear Masks Within Court Facilities

Fully Vaccinated Individuals are No Longer Required to Wear Masks Within Cochise County Court Facilities
Arizona Supreme Court Issues Administrative Order No. 2021-77

BISBEE, Ariz. (May 25, 2021) – Effective today, court employees, participants and visitors who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer required to wear a mask or any other face covering while inside Cochise County court facilities.

The Arizona Supreme Court has issued Administrative Order No. 2021-77 which gives the presiding judge of the superior court of each county the authority to establish a countywide policy concerning the wearing of masks or other face coverings in court facilities.

An informal survey of court employees shows that over 70 percent of court employees in Cochise County are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It is reported that 40 percent of residents of Cochise County are fully vaccinated and vaccinations within the county are now widely available for those who want to be vaccinated.

The Administrative Order follows guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation, which states that fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing. However, those who wish to continue to wear a face covering may do so.

Court employees, participants and visitors who are not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear a mask or other face coverings while visiting the facilities. Appropriate signage of the new policy will be placed and be visible at the entrance of each court facility.

Judicial officers, supervisors or other court employees will not prohibit or discourage anyone from wearing a mask or face covering. A judicial officer may require the removal of masks during in-court room proceedings with appropriate social distancing and other protective measures. They may exercise their authority only when necessary and not routinely.

Court employees who work in or visit a facility used for juvenile detention must continue to wear a mask or face covering while in the facility.

All participants in court proceedings, including attorneys, parties, victim witnesses, jurors, judicial officers, court employees and other necessary persons must notify the court prior to appearing at the courthouse of any COVID-19 related symptoms, diagnosis, or exposure.