Minnesota state courts lift mask requirement effective July 6

The Minnesota Judicial Branch announced the change on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. Other COVID modifications, like remote hearings, will continue.

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ST. PAUL — Those entering state courthouses next month will no longer need to wear face coverings, the Minnesota Judicial Branch announced Tuesday, June 29.

Face coverings will no longer be required in court facilities effective Tuesday, July 6. The statewide mask mandate ended Friday, May 14.

In-person court hearings have increased, but a large number of remote court hearings continue and will continue through the beginning of September. In-person hearings, such as criminal and civil jury trials, court trials in "major criminal" cases as well as juvenile protection cases, criminal settlement conference and grand jury proceedings all continue to be held in-person.

At the end of March 2020, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Lorie Gildea ordered a halt to new jury trials. In June 2020, a small number of district courts, including Olmsted County, were given the go-ahead to restart criminal jury trials as part of a pilot program. As summer 2020 progressed, more courts were allowed to conduct jury trials and increase in-person proceedings.

As cases of COVID-19 spiked in the state, an order was issued in November 2020 to suspend jury trials and instead, ramp up remote hearings. That order was continued into mid-March. In May 2021, the judicial branch updated its order, allowing more in-person hearings. The newest update says face coverings will no longer be needed after July 6.

Emily Cutts is the Post Bulletin's public safety reporter. She joined the Post Bulletin in July 2018 after stints in Vermont and Western Massachusetts.
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