Coronavirus Information & Court Updates | Current Court Operating Phase: 2

COVID-19 Court Information and Updates

The Significance of Jury Duty

The right to trial by jury is fundamental to our democracy and guaranteed by the constitution. Amid a public health crisis, what does this duty mean? Watch this video about jury service to learn more.


Resources for Court Users

Jump to Court Operations Unpdate

Best Practices: Technology in Court

DEPOSITIONS DURING COVID-19

Read Chief Judge Bonner's memorandum on conducting witness depositions during COVID-19.


FORECLOSURES AND EVICTIONS

Based on Governor DeSantis’ executive orders governing the suspension of mortgage foreclosures and evictions expiring on October 1, and the CDC issuing a temporary eviction moratorium to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, Chief Judge Bonner issued Administrative Order 2020-15c.1.

It’s important to note that the CDC Order does not relieve anyone of their obligation to pay their mortgage or rent, or comply with any other obligation someone may have as a tenant or homeowner. Nor is there anything in the CDC Order that prevents charging or collecting fees, penalties or interest due to the failure to pay rent or other housing payment.

The following foreclosure actions are no longer suspended:

  • Commercial mortgage foreclosures
  • Foreclosures unrelated to non-payment of single-family mortgages
  • Foreclosures related to non-payment of single family mortgages in which no claim of adverse effects of COVID-19 appears in the pleadings
  • Foreclosures related to non-payment of single-family mortgages in which a default was entered

The following eviction actions are no longer suspended:

  • Commercial eviction proceedings
  • Residential evictions unrelated to non-payment of rent by a residential tenant

For residential evictions for non-payment of rent by a residential tenant, cases may be filed, and summonses and notices of action may be issued. Whether the action may proceed to final action depends if the tenant or resident provides a Declaration, under penalty of perjury, that they were affected by COVID-19. Please review AO2020-15c.1, the CDC Order and Declaration Form for further information.

There is nothing in the CDC Order that stops evictions based on a tenant or resident engaging in criminal activity while on the property, threatening the health and safety of other residents, damaging property, violating codes and health ordinances, or violating contractual obligations, such as fees for non-payment or late payments, penalties, or interest.


COURT OPERATIONAL PLAN

Read the court's plan to transtion from Phase 1 to Phase 2.

Date of Transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2:

  • DeSoto County: 9-8-2020
  • Manatee County: 8-17-2020
  • Sarasota County: 8-17-2020

Read our list of FAQs regarding changes to the court during the COVID-19 pandemic.


COVID-19 Workgroup

Visit the COVID-19 Workgroup webpage on the Florida Courts website to find information on workgroup files, meeting agendas and minutes, and a summary of the workgroup's functions.


MORE ON FLORIDA COURTS & COVID-19

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COURT OPERATIONS UPDATE

September 29, 2020

Although Governor DeSantis has lifted the health precautions and restrictions imposed on businesses throughout Florida, the courts, as a separate but co-equal branch of government, follow the requirements put in place by the Florida Supreme Court and its chief justice, Charles Canady. Chief Justice Canady has issued several administrative orders outlining measures for Florida courts to follow, including a four-phase operating procedure. These phases are separate and distinct from the State of Florida phases issued by the governor.

Since the early stages of the pandemic, the courts have continued to operate using remote technology in a continued effort to ensure that justice is not compromised. While some cases and court proceedings are more difficult to conduct than others, we are continuing to conduct court hearings and evidentiary trials by utilizing audio/video technology within our circuit.

On a recent episode of “Law & Sarasota,” hosted by Senior Judge Lee E. Haworth, Chief Judge Bonner discussed in detail the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and explained how the court has adjusted to the unique circumstances.

Currently, all three counties in the Twelfth Circuit have transitioned to Phase 2 operations in accordance with the administrative orders.

The four phases of the pandemic, as it relates to courthouse operations, are as follows:

  • Phase 1: In-person contact is inadvisable, court facilities are effectively closed to the public, and in-person proceedings are rare;
  • Phase 2: Limited in-person contact is authorized for certain purposes and/or require the use of protective measures;
  • Phase 3: In-person contact is more broadly authorized and protective measures are relaxed; and
  • Phase 4: COVID-19 no longer presents significant risk to public health and safety.

Phase 2 permits limited in-person court proceedings only for specific types of cases. All proceedings will continue to occur remotely where they can be done effectively. In-person proceedings will only occur as per the provisions in administrative orders AOSC20-23, Amendment 4; AOSC20-32, Amendment 3; and AO2020-12a.02.

The courts will follow social distancing guidelines, and we will conduct health screening as you enter the court buildings. Use of personal protection equipment (PPE) is required and the court and county staff will be cleaning and disinfecting the courtrooms frequently throughout the day.

If you receive a notice for court or a jury summons, please follow the instructions in the notice. If you have questions, please contact the Clerk of Court or the judge’s office, as necessary.

Most of all, please understand that the judicial branch has been innovative, flexible, and proactive in adapting court operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We remain committed to protecting liberties and resolving disputes with a priority given to protecting the public health.

Administrative Orders Regarding COVID-19

Health and Safety Protocols

All persons who enter a court facility must submit to a temperature check and screening questions related to COVID-19 exposure.

Persons who have a temperature of 100.4 or higher, who answer “yes” to having any of the symptoms in Question 1 or who answer “yes” to Questions 2, 3 or 4 shall not be allowed to enter the court facility.

Question 1: Do you have any of the following symptoms, excluding those due to a known medical reason:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever or chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Question 2: Are you currently awaiting the results of a test to determine if you have COVID-19 based on symptoms or suspected exposure?

Question 3: Are you under instructions to self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19?

Question 4: Within the last 14 days, have you had close contact with someone with a COVID-19 diagnosis or who is awaiting test results for COVID-19 based on symptoms or suspected exposure? Note: Close contact is defined as contact that is less than 6 feet for fifteen minutes or more, irrespective of whether a cloth face covering or respiratory PPE was worn.


Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court Policy

Guardianship Training: Guardianship training offered by State College of Florida pursuant to F.S. 744.3145 may be offered online or by using remote technology.

Parenting Education Classes: Effective March 23, 2020, the 12th Judicial Circuit will temporarily allow parties to attend parenting classes online or via videoconferencing without court approval.

Bond Forfeitures: All time limits prescribed by statute or rule of court pertaining to the forfeiture of bonds and/or payment of bonds forfeited are extended until the close of business on Friday, May 29, 2020.


COVID-19 Videos

Changes to Programs/Services
DeSoto County Courts: 

Legal time limits extended from close of business on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, until the close of business on Monday, August 3, 2020.

Specialty Court/Treatment Courts: 

Zoom hearings are here!

Contact the dropline for updated information:
Manatee -  (941) 749-3666 Lab is open for Drug testing
Sarasota -  (941) 861-8189. CTC contact Director Brittany Elkins (941) 376-6821
Desoto -  contact staff daily.

Mediations: 

Zoom or telephone mediation is available by request and upon stipulation of the parties. Please contact the following staff members for scheduling:

  • County Mediation (Sarasota and DeSoto counties)
    Pam McLeod, (941) 861-7833
  • County Mediation (Manatee County)
    Susan Gardner, (941) 749-3660
  • Family Mediation
    Maggie Pardi, (941) 749-3654
  • Dependency Mediation
    Michelle Smith, (941) 749-3600, ext. 7102
Deposition room reservations: Suspended until further notice
School visits: Suspended until further notice
Pet Therapy Program:  Suspended until further notice
Grand Jury/Jury selection proceedings,
and Criminal Jury trials: 
Resumed
Civil Jury trials: Suspended through December 31, 2020
Self Help Center: Open by appointment only. To schedule an appointment visit the Self Help Center webpage.

OLDER COVID-19 POSTS

 Note: Please check back often as information changes frequently. The most current information can be found on our Home page and at the top of this COVID-19 information page.


September 21, 2020

On Friday, September 18, a six-member jury delivered a verdict in the first criminal jury trial to take place in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit since March.

Circuit Judge Charles Roberts presided over the felony trial at the Judge Lynn N. Silvertooth Judicial Center in Sarasota County. The jury was selected on Wednesday afternoon from a panel of 30 prospective jurors who answered the call for jury service. Eight witnesses testified over the course of the two-day trial, including one appearing remotely over Zoom. The jury reached a verdict Friday afternoon.

Several features of the trial that did not resemble pre-pandemic jury trials included face masks, social distancing and the regular cleaning of surfaces and microphones after each use. Additional information regarding the court’s health screening protocols and cleaning measures can be found on our COVID-19 News Page.

The success of the first jury trial was a result of the combined efforts of judges and the staff of Court Administration, the Sarasota County Clerk of Court, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and Sarasota County Administration. Each of these offices played an integral role in ensuring the health and safety of the jury and all who enter our court facilities.

Jury trials are scheduled in Sarasota and Manatee County this week, and will resume in Venice and DeSoto County in October.

September 8, 2020

Desoto County is transitioning to Phase 2 on Tuesday, September 8. The same health screening protocols and face mask requirements as in the other counties apply in Desoto as well.

Court operations in Bradenton, Sarasota, and Venice transitioned from Phase 1 to Phase 2 on August 17.

Phase 2 looks a lot like Phase 1 with limited in-person hearings, and we’ll still require the use of face coverings, health screening questions, and fever checks, but it was a BIG step forward in our return to normal operations.

Another big step is that the Clerk's Offices in Manatee and Sarasota counties have issued jury summonses for September. The right to a jury trial is guaranteed by the consitution, but we also need to make sure everyone is safe and healthy. Please watch this video on the significance of jury duty during a public health crisis.

Until we transition to Phase 3 we must continue to hold most hearings by video and/or phone conferencing. If the hearing can't be held remotely it will be continued.

As we work to slow the spread of COVID-19, we must limit only those with official court business, a scheduled hearing or appointment to enter court buildings. Please do not bring anyone with you to court, because they may not be able to enter the building with you.

TIMEFRAMES EXTENDED ON FORECLOSURES/EVICTONS

On August 31, Governor DeSantis signed Executive Order 20-211 extending the timeframes of EO 20-94 regarding mortgage foreclosures and evictions until October 1, 2020.

It is not necessary for Chief Judge Bonner to enter a new local administrative order extending the date through October 1, because AO 2020-15b.1 included language that stated if the governor amends, changes or alters the timeframes in Executive Order 20-94, (as extended by EO 20-121, 20-137, and 20-180) that the timeframes set forth will extend without further order from the court.

Effective Monday, August 17, 2020, court operations in Bradenton, Sarasota, and Venice will transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2.

Phase 2 will look a lot like Phase 1 with limited in-person hearings, and we'll still require face coverings, health screening questions, and fever checks before people enter court buildings, but it's a BIG step forward in our return to normal operations.

We will continue to hold most hearings by video and/or phone conferencing. If the hearing can't be held remotely it will be continued.

As we work to slow the spread of COVID-19, we must limit only those with official court business, a scheduled hearing or appointment to enter court buildings. Please do not bring anyone with you to court, because they may not be able to enter the building with you.

NEXT STEPS

It's undetermined when DeSoto County will enter Phase 2, but based on the current data, we don't see it happening before September 1. Court leaders will continue to monitor data from the health department and consult with county officials.

Although civil jury trials will remain suspended through December 31, 2020, the health data shows we're on track to resume criminal jury trials within the next few months.

SIGNFICANT CHANGES IN FORECLOSURES

Chief Judge Bonner recently issued Administrative Order, 2020-15b.1, Re: Suspension of Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Actions and Residential Evictions Related to Non-Payment Due to COVID-19, in response to Governor DeSantis issuing Executive Order 20-180. Judge Bonner's new order amends and replaces AO2020-15a.1. It is in effect from August 1, 2020, through September 1, 2020.

The new order lifts the suspension of commercial foreclosures and commercial eviction proceedings.

Additionally, the order lifts the suspension of residential foreclosure actions unrelated to non-payment, or actions in which there is no claim of adverse effects of COVID-19, or defaulted foreclosure actions related to non-payment.

In foreclosure cases where the borrower is claiming financial hardship due to COVID-19, the action can still be filed be filed and hearings can still be scheduled. However, all summary/final judgment hearings and trials remain suspended through September 1 unless all parties agree in writing that they wish to proceed.

The new order lifts the suspension of eviction proceedings unrelated to non-payment of rent, or when the eviction is due to the tenant's failure to pay rent and a default was entered, and in eviction proceedings where the tenant does not allege adverse effects due to COVID-19.

In eviction cases where the tenant is claiming financial hardship due to COVID-19, the action can still be filed and summonses can still be issued. However, defaults will not be entered, and all summary/final judgment hearings and trials remain suspended through September 1 unless all parties agree in writing that they wish to proceed.

July 30, 2020

As we work to slow the spread of COVID-19, we must limit only those with official court business, a scheduled hearing or appointment to enter court buildings. Please do not bring anyone with you to court, because they may not be able to enter the building with you.

We are still in phase 1 of our four-phase plan to full operations but Chief Judge Bonner has authorized the following hearings to occur in-person: Early Case Resolution (ECRs) hearings after felony arraignments and out-of-custody pleas. In-person pleas may take place as approved by the presiding judge and/or the administrative judge, and as long as social-distancing guidelines are followed. Contact the judge's office to schedule in-person plea hearings.

Chief Judge Kimberly C. Bonner's message to attorneys in the 12th Circuit

As you've all seen in the news, Florida has experienced a significant upward trend in COVID-19 cases. This will result in delays to the court reopening. In speaking with health officials in all three of our counties, it appears we are still at least two weeks away from meeting the public health benchmarks set by the supreme court, and quite possibly, longer than that to go to phase 2. The benchmarks include not only the number of new cases, but other factors such as overall percent of positive tests, the percentage of population being tested, and availability of hospital and ICU beds. We have been very fortunate to have great partners in our counties. Our resources and protocols are in place, and we will be ready for phase 2. Working remotely, we are still able to handle our caseloads at near 80% capacity. With the exception of jury trial backlogs, which will be significant, our other work is being done and being done effectively. Some counties in the state had to almost immediately phase back down after moving quickly to phase 2. We are in line with most other circuits in being ready with resources, but waiting for the numbers to either level off at an acceptable rate or trend downward.

Under Justice Canady’s Administrative Order, once a county reaches phase 2, jury trials may commence no earlier than thirty days from that date. During phase 2, we will still be operating under strict protocols, including social distancing and mandatory masks. Thus, the number of available jurors and the space in which to seat them significantly impacts the number of trials we can feasibly conduct. With social distancing, for example, there are a limited number of spaces in each court facility that can seat jurors for trial and for deliberation. Even in phase 3, which depends largely on COVID numbers continuing to decline, we will still be dealing with the criminal backlog as well as the resumption of speedy trial demands. Because criminal cases receive priority for available jurors, it is apparent that there is little to no potential for seating civil juries in 2020. I have therefore made the difficult decision to suspend civil jury trials through the rest of the year. It’s only fair that attorneys and their clients know what to expect and make an informed decision about where to allocate their time and money. Hoping for the best and moving cases a few months ahead accomplishes nothing.

None of us could have predicted what 2020 would look like and I am deeply sorry to those litigants who are relying on a jury to resolve their dispute and who now must wait. The length of the partial shutdown and the backlog of criminal cases, along with inevitable juror shortages and logistical challenges for jury trials means that the math simply doesn’t work in favor of civil trials resuming.

Despite these setbacks, we remain committed to staying open for business and are making full use of technology to hear cases. I want to thank all of you for your compliance with our PPE procedures for those few in-person proceedings we are having. The medical experts that the state workgroup consulted with were unequivocal in stating that masks are the most effective way to prevent spread of the virus. Because people are compelled to come into a court facility, we owe a special duty to all of you to ensure we are following best practices. I assure you we are abiding by them as well, even in our personal work spaces.

I am in constant contact with our local health officials and other constitutional officers, and make every effort to make sure our website is updated with the latest developments. Additionally, judges in all divisions have been holding Zoom town halls or informal online gatherings to discuss questions or concerns. We welcome your input and look forward to seeing you all, in person, soon.


July 1, 2020

Last night the governor entered Executive Order 20-159 which extended EO 20-94 (Limited Extension of Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief), until August 1, 2020. The court will not enter another Administrative Order on the subject since the last one (AO2020-15a.1) had the following language in it, "This Order is subject to modification, addition, and extension as changing facts and circumstances may require. If Governor Ron DeSantis amends, changes or alters the timeframes set forth in Executive Order 20-94, extended by EO 20-121 and 20-137, the timeframes set forth in this Administrative Order will extend automatically without the necessity of further order from this court."

As we work to slow the spread of COVID-19, we must limit only those with official court business, a scheduled hearing or appointment to enter court buildings. Please do not bring anyone with you to court, because they may not be able to enter the building with you.

We are still in phase 1 of our four-phase plan to full operations but Chief Judge Bonner has authorized the following hearings to occur in-person: Early Case Resolution (ECRs) hearings after felony arraignments and out-of-custody pleas. In-person pleas may take place as long as social-distancing guidelines are followed. Contact the judge's office to schedule in-person plea hearings.

Chief Judge Kimberly C. Bonner's message to attorneys in the 12th Circuit

As you've all seen in the news, Florida has experienced a significant upward trend in COVID-19 cases. This will result in delays to the court reopening. In speaking with health officials in all three of our counties, it appears we are still at least two weeks away from meeting the public health benchmarks set by the supreme court, and quite possibly, longer than that to go to phase 2. The benchmarks include not only the number of new cases, but other factors such as overall percent of positive tests, the percentage of population being tested, and availability of hospital and ICU beds. We have been very fortunate to have great partners in our counties. Our resources and protocols are in place, and we will be ready for phase 2. Working remotely, we are still able to handle our caseloads at near 80% capacity. With the exception of jury trial backlogs, which will be significant, our other work is being done and being done effectively. Some counties in the state had to almost immediately phase back down after moving quickly to phase 2. We are in line with most other circuits in being ready with resources, but waiting for the numbers to either level off at an acceptable rate or trend downward.

Under Justice Canady’s Administrative Order, once a county reaches phase 2, jury trials may commence no earlier than thirty days from that date. During phase 2, we will still be operating under strict protocols, including social distancing and mandatory masks. Thus, the number of available jurors and the space in which to seat them significantly impacts the number of trials we can feasibly conduct. With social distancing, for example, there are a limited number of spaces in each court facility that can seat jurors for trial and for deliberation. Even in phase 3, which depends largely on COVID numbers continuing to decline, we will still be dealing with the criminal backlog as well as the resumption of speedy trial demands. Because criminal cases receive priority for available jurors, it is apparent that there is little to no potential for seating civil juries in 2020. I have therefore made the difficult decision to suspend civil jury trials through the rest of the year. It’s only fair that attorneys and their clients know what to expect and make an informed decision about where to allocate their time and money. Hoping for the best and moving cases a few months ahead accomplishes nothing.

None of us could have predicted what 2020 would look like and I am deeply sorry to those litigants who are relying on a jury to resolve their dispute and who now must wait. The length of the partial shutdown and the backlog of criminal cases, along with inevitable juror shortages and logistical challenges for jury trials means that the math simply doesn’t work in favor of civil trials resuming.

Despite these setbacks, we remain committed to staying open for business and are making full use of technology to hear cases. I want to thank all of you for your compliance with our PPE procedures for those few in-person proceedings we are having. The medical experts that the state workgroup consulted with were unequivocal in stating that masks are the most effective way to prevent spread of the virus. Because people are compelled to come into a court facility, we owe a special duty to all of you to ensure we are following best practices. I assure you we are abiding by them as well, even in our personal work spaces.

I am in constant contact with our local health officials and other constitutional officers, and make every effort to make sure our website is updated with the latest developments. Additionally, judges in all divisions have been holding Zoom town halls or informal online gatherings to discuss questions or concerns. We welcome your input and look forward to seeing you all, in person, soon.

A MESSAGE FROM CHIEF JUDGE KIMBERLY C. BONNER

As you know, the Florida Supreme Court has issued several Administrative Orders related to the court reopening plan and other COVID-19 related policies. Similar to the state as a whole, this reopening is divided into phases. It is important for members of the public, lawyers, and litigants, to understand that the court phases do not necessarily line up with other statewide phases or business reopenings. Our reopening is governed by the orders from the Florida Supreme Court. They are not independently developed by county or circuit. Whereas people voluntarily choose to go to certain private businesses or other public places, for the most part, they are in a courthouse because they are compelled to be there. These public buildings are challenging to maintain and keep clean, even in the absence of a pandemic, and we must be able to assure everyone who enters our court facilities that we are taking all possible measures to make sure not only that they are physically safe, but that we are not exposing them to the virus.

The Supreme Court’s current required benchmarks for proceeding to Phase 2 include many factors beyond our control, such as an overall decline in COVID-19 numbers within a county over a 14-day period. Two of our three counties have experienced a spike in COVID-19 numbers within the past week. This will delay our ability to meet the benchmark. Other requirements for conducting more in person hearings during phase 2, including jury trials, are temperature and health screenings. The latter requires our county partners to assist and we have been working diligently to get the equipment and personnel necessary.

As a means to get us closer to Phase 2, I issued an administrative order last week setting out mandatory use of personal protective equipment (PPE) starting June 8, and mandatory health screenings in all court facilities beginning June 15. These dates were set with the expectation that the screening resources would have been obtained by June 15, and there is still the possibility that by the end of next week, everything will be secured to begin these screenings. There is, however, also a possibility that our screening resources will take longer to implement and that this protocol may be delayed.

Even when these measures are in place, we cannot go to Phase 2 until I can certify to the Supreme Court that we’ve met ALL of the necessary benchmarks. Until we can, we will still be in Phase 1, with limited in-person proceedings, use of PPEs and mandatory health screens. This will still enable us to begin tackling our criminal docket backlog, as well as some other matters, but with the added restriction of social distancing and use of PPEs/screening. This means we cannot hold in-person criminal arraignments or pleas for out-of-custody defendants until all the mandatory health screens are in place.

The COVID-19 situation changes daily, and sometimes hourly, and it can be frustrating and confusing to watch the state “reopen” when we are not. I will do my best to keep everyone informed on our progress.

Thank you.

May 30, 2020

Read Chief Judge Bonner’s newest message

Twelfth Circuit Chief Judge Kimberly C. Bonner issued two new administrative orders as part of the Court’s continued response to COVID-19 and our phased revamp to full operations. We’re in Phase 1 now, which means all hearings except emergency hearings are conducted by video and phone conferencing.

In order to move to Phase 2, a time when limited in-person contact will be allowed in court proceedings, protective measures will still be required. According to the Supreme Court’s order AOSC20-23, Amendment 2, we will be able to move to Phase 2 when:

  • There have been no COVID-19 cases in the courthouse within 14 days or there has been a deep cleaning if such cases have occurred;
  • Local and state orders permit the activity;
  • The community shows at least 14 days of improvements in COVID-19 case reporting;
  • Adequate testing programs are in place; and
  • We have consulted with other building occupants and justice system partners (State Attorney, Public Defender, law enforcement, and other agencies such as Department of Children and Families).

Beginning June 8, local AO2020-12.02 requires that anyone who enters a court building – including judges – must wear a facemask in all public areas. Everyone is encouraged to bring their own facemask to wear in court. If you arrive without a facemask, we’ll give you a disposable one before you enter the building.

We’ll continue the practice of keeping six-feet of distance between everyone – in lines, in courtrooms and in elevators. Only three people will be allowed in an elevator at any time.

We’ll also continue to clean and sanitize all public areas giving special attention to elevator buttons, door handles and hand rails.

Beginning June 15, anyone who enters a court building will have their temperature checked and asked a series of questions related to COVID-19 exposure. If you have a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher or you answer “yes” to any question you will not be allowed into the building and your case will be rescheduled. The court will not issue a bench warrant for failing to appear for your hearing if you were turned away due to the screening process.

Judge Bonner also issued AO2020-13.01, which suspends civil jury trials through September 18, 2020.


May 22, 2020
NEW ORDERS SETTING HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES IN COURTS

Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady issued an order on May 21, 2020, establishing health and safety precautions based on a report issued by a statewide advisory COVID-19 Workgroup, of which Twelfth Circuit Chief Judge Kimberly Bonner is a member.

Chief Justice Canady also amended an earlier order (AOSC20-23, Amendment 2) that provides comprehensive emergency procedures for use in courts in the pandemic. The amendments incorporate the new Phase 2 safety procedures contained in the COVID-19 Workgroup report.

We are currently in Phase 1, the time when all hearings except emergency hearings are being conducted by video and phone conferencing.

Phase 2 is the time when limited in-person contact will be authorized in courts and court proceedings, but protective measures still will be required.

Transition to Phase 2 in the Twelfth Circuit will occur when it meets five benchmark criteria:

  • There has been no COVID-19 cases in the courthouse within 14 days or the use of deep cleaning if such cases have occurred
  • Local and state restrictive orders permit the activity;
  • The community shows at least 14 days of improvements in case reporting;
  • adequate testing programs are in place; and
  • We have consulted with other building occupants and justice system partners.

Chief Justice Canady also issued an order creating a new pilot program to explore ways to let jury trials begin again using remote technology. Under the pilot program, the COVID-19 Workgroup will develop requirements and will select up to five Florida trial circuits to participate. At this point, trials will only be civil, non-criminal cases and all parties must consent to participate in the pilot.

To learn more about the four-phase expansion of court operations, or follow the activities of the statewide COVID-19 Workgroup, visit flcourts.org. There you'll find links to meeting agendas and minutes, and guides to help you conduct business with the court using remote methods:

  • Representing yourself and using video with the court;
  • Managing evidence in video hearings in civil and family cases; and
  • Arranging video hearings with people who don't have a lawyer.
FORECLOSURES, EVICTIONS ON HOLD THROUGH JUNE 2

Based on Governor DeSantis extending Executive Order 20-94 and suspending foreclosures and evictions through June 2, the Twelfth Judicial Circuit’s Administrative Order 2020-11.1 suspending evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 pandemic is also extended through June 2. It is not necessary for the Chief Judge to enter a new local administrative order extending the date through June 2 because AO 2020-11.1 included language that stated, “If Governor Ron DeSantis amends, changes or alters the timeframes set forth in Executive Order 20-94, the timeframes set forth in this Administrative Order will extend without the necessity of further order from this court.”

THE COURTS ARE OPEN

While only certain hearings are being held in the judicial centers, the courts are holding most other hearings remotely using video conferencing and/or teleconferencing software. Please check the specific division or the Zoom page for more information, or contact the judge's office to check on your hearing status. Find a list of judges, magistrates and hearing officers on our Judges/Magistrates webpage.

The Twelfth Judicial Circuit has suspended all non-essential or non-critical programs and services through May 29, 2020. For additional details please review previous Florida Supreme Court and local administrative orders with AOSC20-23, Amendment 1, AOSC20-23, AOSC20-15, AOSC20-13, and AO 2020-04.2.

Jury proceedings and jury trials are suspended through July 2. If you have received a jury summons please contact the Clerk of Court office in your county.


May 19, 2020
COURT OPERATIONS UPDATE FROM CHIEF JUDGE KIMBERLY C. BONNER

Chief Judge Kimberly C. Bonner and the 17-member Continuity of Court Operations Workgroup have been tasked with making recommendations to Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady about the phased reopening of the courthouse doors to the public.

The group has met a number of times over the past four weeks to discuss the way the courts are conducting hearings. They’re looking at where we can assemble jurors when trials resume, how best to accommodate people that don't have access to remote technology or don't have lawyers, and many more issues related to the public's continued access to justice while keeping everyone safe and decreasing the risk of a resurgence of COVID-19 in the community.

"We continue to plan and draft protocols for the beginning of more in-person hearings, which will include personal protection equipment protocols, sanitation schedules, limitations on capacity and screening of individuals who enter the court facilities," Judge Bonner said.

"Jury management is also a critical component of these plans. All requirements and procedures will be entered via administrative orders and prominently displayed in the [court] buildings. In addition, until we are in phase 4 where all hearings are permitted to be held in-person, we will continue to do many, if not most, matters remotely where they can be done effectively," Judge Bonner said.

"Attorneys and parties should check the website frequently for updates and familiarize themselves with judges’ individual requirements.”

Judge Bonner said she thanks everyone for their patience during this process. “As you can imagine, we received many concerns and suggestions about all of these matters. Ensuring the public safety while maintaining access to the court are our highest priorities," Judge Bonner said.

You can find more information on the Continuity of Court Operations Workgroup online at flcourts.org, where you’ll find links to meeting agendas and minutes, and guides to help you conduct business with the court using remote methods:

  • Representing yourself and using video with the court;
  • Managing evidence in video hearings in civil and family cases; and
  • Arranging video hearings with people who don't have a lawyer.
SARASOTA CIRCUIT CIVIL TOWN HALL

The next Town Hall meeting with Sarasota Circuit Civil judges will be held at Noon on May 21st. Sarasota's Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller Karen Rushing is also scheduled to speak. This town hall will focus on civil jury trials in Sarasota, changes to the 2020 and 2021 trial schedules, and thoughts on post-COVID-19 operations in the Sarasota Circuit Civil division. Judges will take questions, prior to and during the town hall. Submit your questions before the event to the Sarasota County Bar Association.

Advanced registration is required.

FORECLOSURES, EVICTIONS ON HOLD THROUGH JUNE 2

Based on Governor DeSantis extending Executive Order 20-94 and suspending foreclosures and evictions through June 2, the Twelfth Judicial Circuit’s Administrative Order 2020-11.1 suspending evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 pandemic is also extended through June 2. It is not necessary for the Chief Judge to enter a new local administrative order extending the date through June 2 because AO 2020-11.1 included language that stated, “If Governor Ron DeSantis amends, changes or alters the timeframes set forth in Executive Order 20-94, the timeframes set forth in this Administrative Order will extend without the necessity of further order from this court.”

THE COURTS ARE OPEN

While only certain hearings are being held in the judicial centers, the courts are holding most other hearings remotely using video conferencing and/or teleconferencing software. Please check the specific division or the Zoom page for more information, or contact the judge's office to check on your hearing status. Find a list of judges, magistrates and hearing officers on our Judges/Magistrates webpage.

The Twelfth Judicial Circuit has suspended all non-essential or non-critical programs and services through May 29, 2020. For additional details please review previous Florida Supreme Court and local administrative orders with AOSC20-23, Amendment 1, AOSC20-23, AOSC20-15, AOSC20-13, and AO 2020-04.2.

Jury proceedings and jury trials are suspended through July 2. If you have received a jury summons please contact the Clerk of Court office in your county.


May 15, 2020
FORECLOSURES, EVICTIONS ON HOLD THROUGH JUNE 2

Based on Governor DeSantis extending Executive Order 20-94 and suspending foreclosures and evictions through June 2, the Twelfth Judicial Circuit’s Administrative Order 2020-11.1 suspending evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 pandemic is also extended through June 2. It is not necessary for the Chief Judge to enter a new local administrative order extending the date through June 2 because AO 2020-11.1 included language that stated, “If Governor Ron DeSantis amends, changes or alters the timeframes set forth in Executive Order 20-94, the timeframes set forth in this Administrative Order will extend without the necessity of further order from this court.”

THE COURTS ARE OPEN

While only certain hearings are being held in the judicial centers, the courts are holding most other hearings remotely using video conferencing and/or teleconferencing software. Please check the specific division or the Zoom page for more information, or contact the judge's office to check on your hearing status. Find a list of judges, magistrates and hearing officers on our Judges/Magistrates webpage.

The Twelfth Judicial Circuit has suspended all non-essential or non-critical programs and services through May 29, 2020. For additional details please review previous Florida Supreme Court and local administrative orders with AOSC20-23, Amendment 1, AOSC20-23, AOSC20-15, AOSC20-13, and AO 2020-04.2.

Jury proceedings and jury trials are suspended through July 2. If you have received a jury summons please contact the Clerk of Court office in your county.


May 12, 2020
JURY PROCEEDINGS AND JURY TRIALS SUSPENDED THROUGH JULY 2

Based on the recommendations of the 17-member Court Continuity Workgroup, Chief Justice Canady has amended his April 6, 2020, administrative order AOSC20-23, with AOSC20-23, Amendment 1, and extended the suspension of grand jury proceedings, jury selection, and criminal and civil jury trials through July 2, 2020.

The amendment still requires courts to limit the types of in-person hearings to only essential proceedings and use telephone or videoconferencing for all other hearings, where practicable, through May 29, 2020, unless the court extends the order.

THE COURTS ARE OPEN

On April 6, 2020, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady entered Administrative Order AOSC20-23 suspending all jury trials through May 29, 2020. Based on the new order, the Twelfth Judicial Circuit will suspend all non-essential or non-critical programs and services through May 29, 2020. It is not necessary for the Chief Judge to enter a new local administrative order extending the dates through May 29 because AO 2020-04.2 included language that stated, “If the timeframes set forth in AOSC20-13 and AOSC20-15 are extended by the Supreme Court of Florida, the timeframes in this order will extend without the necessity of further order from this court.” 

While only certain hearings are being held in the judicial centers, the courts are holding most other hearings remotely using video conferencing and/or teleconferencing software. Please check the specific division or the Zoom page for more information, or contact the judge's office to check on your hearing status. Find a list of judges, magistrates and hearing officers on our Judges/Magistrates webpage.

Chief Judge Kimberly Bonner issued Administrative Order 2020-11.1 on April 14, 2020, suspending eviction and foreclosure court processes through May 17, 2020, or until further ordered by the court.


May 5, 2020
JURY PROCEEDINGS AND JURY TRIALS SUSPENDED THROUGH JULY 2

Based on the recommendations of the 17-member Court Continuity Workgroup, Chief Justice Canady has amended his April 6, 2020, administrative order AOSC20-23, with AOSC20-23, Amendment 1, and extended the suspension of grand jury proceedings, jury selection, and criminal and civil jury trials through July 2, 2020.

The amendment still requires courts to limit the types of in-person hearings to only essential proceedings and use telephone or videoconferencing for all other hearings, where practicable, through May 29, 2020, unless the court extends the order.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

With Chief Judge Bonner’s appointment to the Court Continuity Workgroup, created by Chief Justice Canady’s Administrative Order AOSC20-28, she is directed to develop findings and recommendations on the continuation of court operations in a way that protects health and safety and addresses each of the following phases:

  • Phase 1: In-person contact is inadvisable and thus in-person proceedings in the courthouse are rare
  • Phase 2: Limited in-person hearings are authorized for certain purposes and/or requires use of protective measures
  • Phase 3: In-person proceedings are more broadly authorized and protective measures are relaxed
  • Phase 4: COVID-19 no longer presents a significant health or safety risk

We know that ramping up to full operations after the health risks from the COVID-19 pandemic subsides is going to take a village, and the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court wants your input. We invite attorneys and the public to email suggestions, comments, and concerns about resuming court processes.

Please review the administrative order and limit your comments to those issues for which feedback is sought. With the probability of a gradual resumption of standard court operations, it’s important that your input pertains to how to effectively accomplish this, as opposed to a general wish list.

Specific complaints or concerns about a particular division policy or judge’s requirements should be addressed directly with the presiding judge or administrative judge.

THE COURTS ARE OPEN

On April 6, 2020, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady entered Administrative Order AOSC20-23 suspending all jury trials through May 29, 2020. Based on the new order, the Twelfth Judicial Circuit will suspend all non-essential or non-critical programs and services through May 29, 2020. It is not necessary for the Chief Judge to enter a new local administrative order extending the dates through May 29 because AO 2020-04.2 included language that stated, “If the timeframes set forth in AOSC20-13 and AOSC20-15 are extended by the Supreme Court of Florida, the timeframes in this order will extend without the necessity of further order from this court.” 

While only certain hearings are being held in the judicial centers, the courts are holding most other hearings remotely using video conferencing and/or teleconferencing software. Please check the specific division or the Zoom page for more information, or contact the judge's office to check on your hearing status. Find a list of judges, magistrates and hearing officers on our Judges/Magistrates webpage.

Chief Judge Kimberly Bonner issued Administrative Order 2020-11.1 on April 14, 2020, suspending eviction and foreclosure court processes through May 17, 2020, or until further ordered by the court.

APRIL 27, 2020
It Takes a Village

With Chief Judge Bonner’s appointment to the Court Continuity Workgroup, created by Chief Justice Canady’s Administrative Order AOSC20-28, she is directed to develop findings and recommendations on the continuation of court operations in a way that protects health and safety and addresses each of the following phases:

  • Phase 1: In-person contact is inadvisable and thus in-person proceedings in the courthouse are rare
  • Phase 2: Limited in-person hearings are authorized for certain purposes and/or requires use of protective measures
  • Phase 3: In-person proceedings are more broadly authorized and protective measures are relaxed
  • Phase 4: COVID-19 no longer presents a significant health or safety risk

We know that ramping up to full operations after the health risks from the COVID-19 pandemic subsides is going to take a village, and the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court wants your input. We invite attorneys and the public to email suggestions, comments, and concerns about resuming court processes.

Please review the administrative order and limit your comments to those issues for which feedback is sought. With the probability of a gradual resumption of standard court operations, it’s important that your input pertains to how to effectively accomplish this, as opposed to a general wish list.

Specific complaints or concerns about a particular division policy or judge’s requirements should be addressed directly with the presiding judge or administrative judge.

The courts are open

On April 6, 2020, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady entered Administrative Order AOSC20-23 suspending all jury trials through May 29, 2020. Based on the new order, the Twelfth Judicial Circuit will suspend all non-essential or non-critical programs and services through May 29, 2020. It is not necessary for the Chief Judge to enter a new local administrative order extending the dates through May 29 because AO 2020-04.2 included language that stated, “If the timeframes set forth in AOSC20-13 and AOSC20-15 are extended by the Supreme Court of Florida, the timeframes in this order will extend without the necessity of further order from this court.” 

While only certain hearings are being held in the judicial centers, the courts are holding most other hearings remotely using video conferencing and/or teleconferencing software. Please check the specific division or the Zoom page for more information, or contact the judge's office to check on your hearing status. Find a list of judges, magistrates and hearing officers on our Judges/Magistrates webpage.

Chief Judge Kimberly Bonner issued Administrative Order 2020-11.1 on April 14, 2020, suspending eviction and foreclosure court processes through May 17, 2020, or until further ordered by the court.

A message from Chief Judge Kimberly C. Bonner [April 17, 2020]

APRIL 14, 2020

On April 6, 2020, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady entered Administrative Order AOSC20-23 suspending all jury trials through May 29, 2020. Based on the new order, the Twelfth Judicial Circuit will suspend all non-essential or non-critical programs and services through May 29, 2020. It is not necessary for the Chief Judge to enter a new local administrative order extending the dates through May 29 because AO 2020-04.2 included language that stated, “If the timeframes set forth in AOSC20-13 and AOSC20-15 are extended by the Supreme Court of Florida, the timeframes in this order will extend without the necessity of further order from this court.” 

While only certain hearings are being held in the judicial centers, the courts are holding most other hearings remotely using video conferencing and/or teleconferencing software. Please check the specific division or the Zoom page for more information, or contact the judge's office to check on your hearing status. Find a list of judges, magistrates and hearing officers on our Judges/Magistrates webpage.

Chief Judge Kimberly Bonner issued Administrative Order 2020-11.1 on April 14, 2020, suspending eviction and foreclosure court processes through May 17, 2020, or until further ordered by the court.

APRIL 6, 2020

On April 6, 2020, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady entered Administrative Order AOSC20-23 suspending all jury trials through May 29, 2020. Based on the new order, the Twelfth Judicial Circuit will suspend all non-essential or non-critical programs and services through May 29, 2020. It is not necessary for the Chief Judge to enter a new local administrative order extending the dates through May 29 because AO 2020-04.2 included language that stated, “If the timeframes set forth in AOSC20-13 and AOSC20-15 are extended by the Supreme Court of Florida, the timeframes in this order will extend without the necessity of further order from this court.” 

Address Changes, Future Court Dates

We are asking that if anyone needs to update an address or has a question about their next court date to please email the Self Help Center or call (941) 861-8191.

If you are an attorney, a defendant, or a citizen with an interest in a criminal court case, you can register for eNotify, a service that provides users with courtesy text and email reminders about upcoming court events. For more information, visit enotify.flcourts.org. NOTE: This service is available only for criminal cases.

MARCH 25, 2020

On March 24, 2020, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady entered Administrative Order AOSC20-17 suspending all jury trials through April 17, 2020. Based on the new order, the Twelfth Judicial Circuit will suspend all non-essential or non-critical programs and services through April 17, 2020.

Address Changes, Future Court Dates

If anyone needs to update their address or has a question about their next court date, please email the SarasotaSelfHelpCenter@jud12.flcourts.org">Self Help Center or call (941) 861-8191.

The following cases will still be heard during the emergency operations, via electronic communication where possible (find the full list on Administrative Order 2020-4.2):

  • First Appearance hearings
  • Bond hearings for defendants in custody
  • Shelter and Juvenile Detention hearings
  • Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) advisory hearings
  • Hearings on petitions for Judicial Wavier of Notice
  • Baker Act/Marchman Act hearings
  • Emergency Guardianship hearings
  • Risk Protection Order hearings
  • Temporary Domestic Violence Injunction hearings
  • Other emergency or time sensitive matters as determined by the presiding judge

Additionally, criminal division judges may hold necessary in-custody criminal hearings as long as the hearings conducted electronically, there are no in-person defendants, and the judge finds that the custody status of the Defendant will be affected by the hearing.

Unless you have been otherwise advised by the presiding judge, all non-emergency court hearings, including but not limited to: special set hearings, motions, pretrial motions, foreclosures, evictions, divorces and case management conferences will be canceled and reset for a future date. At the presiding judge’s discretion there may be a limited number of civil, family and probate hearings held telephonically.  Note: Judge Matt Whyte has posted updated temporary procedures to Manatee County Family Division 3 and Judge Teri Dees has posted updated temporary procedures for Manatee County Juvenile Division J.

MARCH 18, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 health emergency and based on the Florida Supreme Court’s Administrative Order AOSC20-15, the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Courts are postponing most cases except those that are considered essential and critical, in order to limit the effects of the disease on the courts, court participants, and citizens. Therefore, the Judiciary and Court Administration will operate with minimum staff in court facilities.

In response to the Chief Justice’s newest order, Twelfth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Kimberly C. Bonner has entered Administrative Order 2020-4.2 to address these emergency procedures and functions. Effective at 5 p.m. on March 18, 2020 through March 27, 2020, the following cases will still be heard during the emergency operations, via electronic communication where possible (find the full list on Administrative Order 2020-4.2):

  • First Appearance hearings
  • Bond hearings for defendants in custody
  • Shelter and Juvenile Detention hearings
  • Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) advisory hearings
  • Hearings on petitions for Judicial Wavier of Notice
  • Baker Act/Marchman Act hearings
  • Emergency Guardianship hearings
  • Risk Protection Order hearings
  • Temporary Domestic Violence Injunction hearings
  • Other emergency or time sensitive matters as determined by the presiding judge

Additionally, criminal division judges may hold necessary in-custody criminal hearings as long as the hearings conducted electronically, there are no in-person defendants, and the judge finds that the custody status of the Defendant will be affected by the hearing.

Unless you have been otherwise advised by the presiding judge, all non-emergency court hearings, including but not limited to: special set hearings, motions, pretrial motions, foreclosures, evictions, divorces and case management conferences will be canceled and reset for a future date. At the presiding judge’s discretion there may be a limited number of civil, family and probate hearings held telephonically.

We are in constant communication with our county clerks and law enforcement officials as well as other elected officials and health authorities. We will continue to update this site as the situation develops. We are also working with our sheriffs, state attorney and public defender to address those inmates who may be eligible for release or who can resolve their cases without further incarceration. View new procedures for attorney access to clients within the Desoto County Jail.

MARCH 16, 2020
12th Circuit Court Guidelines and Protocols during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Although the courts remain open, our goal is to dramatically reduce the number of people reporting to the courthouses each day. PERSONS WHO DO NOT HAVE BUSINESS IN THE COURT FACILITIES ARE REQUESTED TO REFRAIN FROM COMING INTO THE BUILDING

Effective March 17, 2020 through March 27, 2020, the following changes are implemented in each division:

CIRCUIT WIDE: NO INMATES WILL BE TRANSPORTED TO THE COURTHOUSE EXCEPT AS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED

County Court – all of these to be re-noticed by the clerk’s office.
  1. All proceedings where a defendant is in custody will be done via video, including arraignments, docket soundings, VOP’s and case management hearings;
  2. All out of custody misdemeanor arraignment dates during this time will be rescheduled to a date at least 30 days out;
  3. All out of custody criminal traffic arraignment dates during this time will be rescheduled to a date at least 30 days out;
  4. All out of custody docket soundings, pretrial conferences, case management, and VOP hearings set during this time will be rescheduled to a date at least 30 days out;
  5. All small claims pretrial hearings set during this time will be rescheduled to a date at least 30 days out;
  6. All civil traffic hearings scheduled in front of the Civil Traffic Infraction Hearing Officer during this time will be rescheduled to a date at least 30 days out;
  7. All contested traffic hearing dates during this time will be rescheduled to a date at least 30 days out;
  8. All jury trials are suspended; and
  9. Attorneys and litigants shall utilize telephonic conferencing where practical, provided that a party creates the conference call and circulates the call-in information to all parties and the Court. No Court Order is required.  
Circuit Criminal (Felony) Court
  1. All proceedings where a defendant is in custody will be done via video, including bond reduction hearings, arraignments, VOP’s and case management hearings;
  2. All out of custody hearings will be rescheduled to a later date;
  3. All jury trials are suspended.
First Appearances
  1. First appearances will be held every day at the normal time by video;
  2. Pretrial services and Manatee SPR will provide scaled back services during this time, including eliminating direct contact with inmates, however, at a minimum they will provide the court criminal histories and PCAs.
Family, Civil and Probate / Guardianship Divisions, Including All Magistrate Hearings
  1. All Title IV-D Child Support Hearings will be rescheduled. The hearing officer will be available for telephonic or video jail hearings as needed.
  2. All Baker Act and Marchman Act Hearings will be conducted telephonically by the General Magistrate.
  3. Attorneys and litigants shall utilize telephonic conferencing where practical, provided that a party creates the conference call and circulates the call-in information to all parties and the Court. No Court Order is required.
  4. For evidentiary hearings, the parties are directed immediately to meet and confer by telephone to discuss whether the evidentiary hearing may be conducted telephonically, by video conference, require live in person appearance, should be postponed until the conclusion of the COVID-19 outbreak, or some other action. After the parties' meet and confer, they shall immediately submit their recommendation via email to the assigned Judge's judicial assistant for the Court to review and take action.
Juvenile Court
  1. Detention hearing may occur via video or telephonic hearing. MRJDC has indicated that parents may attend telephonic hearings (including 21-day reviews) at the MRJDC conference room.
  2. Shelter hearings may occur via video or telephonic conference call where practicable.
  3. Attorneys and litigants shall utilize telephonic conferencing where practical, provided that a party creates the conference call and circulates the call-in information to all parties and the Court. No Court Order is required.
Treatment Courts & Specialty Courts
  1. Treatment court days are cancelled until after March 27, 2020;
  2. All group therapy sessions are cancelled;
  3. All urinalysis drops are cancelled;
  4. Treatment court supervisors shall develop procedures for counselors and case managers to have telephonic or video contact with clients, including documentation of this contact in DCCM.
Mediations – SCPT, County Civil, CDSP, Family and Dependency

Unless mediations can occur telephonically or via video, all in-person mediations are cancelled and will be rescheduled.

image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)The Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court is actively monitoring developments with COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.

The safety and security of the public and our employees is our top priority as we seek to achieve our core mission of ensuring access to justice. The courts remain open to the public and we urge you to follow the same precautions that are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to avoid the spread of respiratory diseases: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

COVID-19 information and resources can be found on the following websites: