Brooklyn federal court restricts access amid coronavirus outbreak

March 10, 2020 Rob Abruzzese
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The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District, located in Downtown Brooklyn and Central Islip, announced Tuesday that it will restrict access to the court due to concerns about the area’s ongoing coronavirus outbreak, and asked high risk people not to come to the court.

Chief Judge Roslynn Mauskopf said that after being advised by the Centers for Disease Control, the court will take precautions against the coronavirus. Anyone who has travelled to China, South Korea, Japan, Italy or Iran within the last 14 days is temporarily banned from the court, effective immediately.

Anyone who has come into contact with an infected person within the last 14 days; has been asked to self-quarantine by a doctor, hospital or health agency; or has been diagnosed with the virus, is also banned from court.

Anyone scheduled to appear in court who meets the criteria should contact their attorney, judge’s chambers, probation officers, jury department or clerk of court to make alternative plans. Further guidance will appear online.

The court called the restrictions temporary, but there is no word on how long they will remain in place.

Chief Judge Mauskopf also ordered all detainees in Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center and other local federal jails to be screened and to have their body temperature checked prior to a court appearance. Any detainees whose temperature exceeds 100.4 degrees will not be allowed to appear in court.

Conditions at the jail have led to worries about the coronavirus spreading in the complex, where hand sanitizer is banned and there are reports that inmates don’t have soap.

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