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Kittitas County Superior Court trials will be suspended through Jan. 4, 2021 as a result of the ongoing public health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a press release, the suspension comes as a result of Gov. Inslee’s Nov. 15 announcement of a new set of restrictions for the state based on the rising number of COVID-19 cases. The restrictions include indoor social gatherings, decreased capacity in restaurants and retailers, and other crowd-limiting measures.

“The rising number of COVID-19 cases in our state and local community causes concern to our court,” the release said. “Therefore, effective immediately, the Kittitas County Superior Court will suspend jury trials through January 4, 2021. While this has been a very difficult decision to make, it is the right decision based on the extraordinary circumstances that we currently face.”

The release said that changes in behaviors are needed to combat the current spike in COVID-19 cases, and that the Kittitas County Superior Court is not exempt from the need to take steps to push the curve down and keep people safe.

“Temporarily suspending jury trials is the most responsible course of action for our court to take at this moment,” the release said. “The safety and well-being of our community demands it. The court has made significant modifications to jury trial operations in order to keep jurors safe, however holding trials still requires the court to gather large groups together indoors. At this time, it is simply not worth the risk.”

The release said that the court will continue to monitor COVID-19 cases this winter and will continue to keep the community informed of any other modifications that are necessary to keep residents safe, while also providing access to justice.

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