Vermont to reopen most courthouses, but masks still needed

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FILE – This Jan. 14, 2013, file photo shows a gavel sits on a desk inside the Court of Appeals at the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center in Denver. The coronavirus pandemic has crippled the U.S. legal system, creating constitutional dilemmas as the accused miss their days in court. Judges from California to Maine have postponed trials and nearly all in-person hearings to keep crowds from packing courthouses. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

The state of Vermont is planning to reopen most of the state’s courthouses, but measures designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 will continue for some time.

Vermont State Court Administrator Patricia Gabel says that despite the Tuesday reopening, courts will still hold remote hearings, and anyone who has an appointment with the court should check whether it will be in person or remote. Visitors and employees will still be required to wear masks, social distance and answer health screening questions when they arrive.

Judges will have the discretion to allow people who are fully vaccinated to remove their masks in courtrooms.

Gabel urged anyone with a vaccination card to bring it with them.

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