Updated COVID-19 Courthouse Protocols in New York

Due to the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the U.S., both State and Federal Courthouses are continually updating their protocols to ensure safe access to the Courts.  We briefly summarize the current procedures being implemented in New York.

Both the Southern District of New York (“SDNY”) and New York state courts continue to prohibit entry to each courthouse for individuals who have flu-like symptoms; have recently tested positive for COVID; have been directed to quarantine, isolate or self-monitor at home; had close contact with a person testing positive for COVID; or have returned from international travel within the last 10 days (unless you returned 8-10 days ago and took a viral COVID test 3-5 days after  return).  While each Court is maintaining stringent guidelines if potentially exposed to COVID-19, the requirements for those that are vaccinated vary.

  • Southern District of New York:
    • If unvaccinated, visitors are required to have their temperature taken and answer questions related to potential exposure to COVID-19 to determine if the visitor may be allowed to enter.
    • All those in the courthouse are required to wear a face mask regardless of vaccination status.
    • Testifying witnesses and attorneys speaking from semi-enclosed podiums outfitted with HEPA filters may be allowed to remove their face mask at the discretion of the presiding Judge.
    • Everyone must adhere to safe social distancing rules, by standing or sitting at least six (6) feet away from other individuals, and abide by all health and hygiene signage throughout the courthouses, including signage regarding masks, social distancing, occupancy restrictions, and hand washing.
  • New York State Courts:
    • Beginning on September 7, 2021, all non-vaccinated court employees will have to submit to weekly COVID-19 testing. Vaccinated staff will not be tested and are able to obtain a special card which verifies their vaccination status.
    • To enter the Court, one will need to show proof of vaccination or wear a mask.
    • Vaccinated visitors are not required to wear a face mask.  Unvaccinated Court Users are required to submit to a temperature screening and a COVID-19 risk assessment inquiry before entering a court facility and will be required to wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and follow the health and safety instructions of court personnel.
To read a copy of the SDNY Ninth Amended Standing Order, please click here.

To read a copy of the SDNY Bankruptcy Court’s General Order, please click here.

To watch Chief Judge DiFiore’s most recent video message, please click here. For a transcript of the message, click here.

If you have any questions, contact us at info@chaloslaw.com