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Pasco County temporarily suspends jury trials due to COVID-19

The chief judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit said the move is because of recent increases in COVID-19 cases in the county.
Credit: Thinkstock

As of Wednesday, jury trials are temporarily suspended in Pasco County.

Anthony Rondolino, the chief judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit, said the modifications to the court's operation plan is because of recent increases in COVID-19 cases.

The temporary suspension means no juries will be impaneled in either of the two courthouses there -- in New Port Richey and Dade City -- and no witnesses expected to testify will be required at those facilities. The suspension of jury trials is expected to be in effect until at least Jan. 4, 2021.

Trials will continue in Pinellas County for now.

The court said Rondolino's decision came after a review of recent coronavirus data in the county, showing the positivity rate rising above 10 percent -- "a threshold that requires any chief judge in the state to consider changing his or her court operation plan," a court spokesperson said.

All jury trials in the state were previously put on hold by the Florida Supreme Court back in March. When they transitioned to Phase 2, jury trials restarted in October.

RELATED: Florida coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, deaths and recoveries

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