Amid rising COVID-19 case counts in Northeast Georgia, the Dawson County courthouse is reinstating a temporary mask mandate in certain areas of the building, starting next week.
Chief Superior Court Judge Kathlene Gosselin signed an order Friday, July 30, to make masks mandatory starting Monday, Aug. 2, citing new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the Dawson County Government, the mask mandate will be in effect for judicial courts located on the 3rd and 4th floor of the Dawson County Administrative Building. Masks are strongly encouraged in all other areas of the building.
There have been 30 jury trials across the Northeastern Judicial Circuit — which includes Hall and Dawson counties — since a ban on proceedings was lifted in March by the Georgia Supreme Court.
Gosselin’s order also instructs people to stay home if sick or exposed to COVID, while encouraging fellow judges to use virtual proceedings when possible and limit proceedings where large numbers of people must attend at the same time.
“In general, no more than 73 persons should be expected to appear at any one time, which is the current maximum capacity of the Hall County jury assembly room, spaced 3 feet apart,” according to Gosselin’s order.
Gosselin’s order will expire at 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 31.
Times Reporter Nick Watson contributed to this report.