Massachusetts delays resumption of jury trials

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts has delayed the resumption of jury trials until early next month.

The earliest potential start date for jury trials will be extended to Nov. 9, Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey said in a statement last week. The delay comes amid a rising number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the state.

The Supreme Judicial Court had authorized the first phase of the resumption of jury trials to begin no earlier than Oct. 23.

The Office of Jury Commissioner is canceling jurors summoned for the weeks of Oct. 26 and Nov. 2. Trials scheduled prior to Nov. 9 will be rescheduled.

“We continue to review building systems to minimize any risk to jurors, court users and court staff,” Carey said. “We are following CDC guidance in terms of occupancy levels and want to take a few more weeks to prepare."

Courts have been working toward the gradual resumption of jury trials. Plans call for conducting a limited number of trials at first, with six-person juries, in a designated number of courthouses.

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UPDATED VIRUS NUMBERS

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 827 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 15 additional fatalities on Monday.

The state's daily positivity rate was about 3%.

The 7-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Massachusetts has risen over the past two weeks from 0.95% on Oct. 4 to 1.13% on Sunday, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

The state has had nearly 141,500 confirmed cases and more than 9,500 deaths.

The number of people hospitalized with the disease was up to 500, while the number of people in intensive care rose by three to 86, according to state statistics.