Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Non-essential North Carolina court proceedings postponed due to Covid-19

As of Dec. 8, New Hanover County is in the “yellow” zone, with “significant” community spread. It is the lowest-severity tier of the statewide alert system for Covid-19. (Port City Daily/File)

North Carolina courts are bracing for continued Covid-19 spikes through the winter by delaying all non-essential and in-person proceedings for 30 days, starting Monday.

“This pause is necessary to protect the health and safety of our court personnel and the public,” Chief Justice Cheri Beasley said in a press release. “Throughout the pandemic, we have moved an unprecedented amount of court work online, including hearings. Those efforts will allow us to limit in-person proceedings for the next few weeks while making sure our courts stay available to serve the public.”

Related: New Hanover County Covid-19 update, governor releases letter to North Carolinians [Free] 

Court operations are strained by the recent rise in cases, percent positivity and hospitalizations, according to the release.

Eleven courthouses in the state have closed this week.

Across North Carolina, the number of counties classified as “red” or “orange,” indicating they’re experiencing substantial or critical levels of Covid-19 spread, has more than doubled in recent weeks.

New Hanover County is still in the “yellow” category as of Dec. 8, meaning it has a significant community spread with a 7.6% positivity rate (although, that has now jumped to 10.2%). Brunswick and Pender counties are in worse conditions, according to the alert system — both are in an “orange” state.

The chief justice is expected to enter an order in the coming days to implement the postponement and renew emergency directives.

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Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands is a journalist covering New Hanover County and education. Before Port City Daily, she reported for the award-winning State Port Pilot in Southport. She graduated from UNC Charlotte and wrote for several Charlotte publications while there. When not writing, Williams is most likely in the gym, reading or spending time with her Golden Pyrenees. Reach her at alexandria@localdailymedia.com or on Twitter @alexsands_

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