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The Iowa State Association of Counties and the Iowa Judicial Branch Approve a Recommended Checklist for Mitigating Exposure to COVID-19 in County Courthouses While Providing Services to the Public

June 10, 2020

The Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) and the Iowa Judicial Branch have collaborated on a checklist of COVID-19 protective measures so members of the public and state and county employees can safely return to Iowa’s courthouses. The checklist addresses signage, personal protective equipment, social distancing, and cleaning. Judicial branch officials, county elected officials, and county department heads in each courthouse can use the checklist as a guide as they prepare to resume in-person operations.
 

“The safety of the public and our employees was paramount to both ISAC and the Judicial Branch as we worked together to create the checklist,” Chief Justice Susan Christensen said. “Every courthouse in Iowa is unique to its community, so I greatly appreciated ISAC’s knowledge of courthouse operations, their ideas, and their perspectives as we jointly developed a flexible and workable approach for the counties and the Judicial Branch to safely and responsibly welcome the public back to their county courthouses and the courts.”
 

“This checklist is a product of true collaboration between counties and the Judicial Branch,” ISAC President Burlin Matthews said. “We are looking forward to opening courthouses back up for business in our communities, but we want to do so in a way that every employee is safe and every citizen can safely access the important services they offer. This document provides a starting place from which to begin that process in a way that's appropriate for each individual courthouse.”
 

The ISAC and Judicial Branch checklist includes suggestions to ensure social distancing such as reconfiguring workspaces and public areas, markings that denote six feet of spacing, and limiting the number of people who can gather in certain areas of the courthouse at one time. The checklist also recommends protocols for personal protection equipment and scheduled cleanings. There are examples of signage to advise the public of certain rules. For example, a sign at the entrance to the courthouse advising that no one will be allowed into the building if they have recently been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, been tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 14 days, or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 per Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
 

The Iowa State Association of Counties/Iowa Judicial Branch Recommended Checklist for Mitigating Exposure to COVID-19 While Providing Services to the Public is posted on the Iowa Judicial Branch website at https://www.iowacourts.gov/static/static/media/cms/Iowa_Judicial_Branch_ISAC_Joint_Bes_D52EEDB585E54.pdf.

For More Information:

Steve Davis, Iowa Judicial Branch Communications Officer, steve.davis@iowacourts.gov or

Rachel E. Bennett, Iowa State Association of Counties Member Relations Manager, rbennett@iowacounties.org

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