OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The signs are all over the walls at the Oklahoma County Courthouse as the building reopens following the coronavirus pandemic.
“We had come to court in like March and was supposed to come back at the end of March, although the COVID hit and because of that, the courts were closed,” JacQuetta Clayton said.
On Monday, that changed.
“Our state supreme court really shut down most of Oklahoma County, any county courthouse in the state and today was kind of our big opening day and it’s really important that the courts try to function as normal,” District 1 County Commissioner Carrie Blumert said.
The Oklahoma County Commissioners met on Friday to discuss safety protocols to reopen the county courthouse.
“We decided face masks would be required if you rode an elevator, but strongly encouraged if you went anywhere else in the courthouse,” Blumert said.
There are several other precautions in place:
- If you’re going to the courthouse, enter on the east side of the building.
- If going to county offices, enter on the north side of the building, located at 320 Robert S. Kerr.
- If you’re ill or if you have flu-like symptoms, do not come to the county buildings.
- Bring only the people required for the visit.
Staff and elected officials are asked to wear a face mask as well and it will be up to each judge on wearing masks inside their courtroom.
“No one will be required to remove a mask. Anyone that wants to will be allowed to wear a mask,” Oklahoma County Judge Ray Elliott said.
Also, the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office increased security at the downtown facility.
“We’ll make recommendations to folks but we won’t be out here forcing people or enforcing any law enforcement actions against those who decided not to,” he said.
Jury trials won’t start until August, but the Oklahoma County Courthouse is open for other things such as hearings.
For more information, visit the county’s website.