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COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t stop Bexar County grand juries from meeting

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales: ‘We have to do our job’

SAN ANTONIO – Although regular jury duty has been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, two Bexar County grand juries continue to meet at the Cadena-Reeves Justice Center.

We have to do our job,” Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said Tuesday. “We have to be able to have these cases presented for indictment.”

Gonzales said his office is taking measures to protect the jurors in view of the crisis.

“They are socially distancing themselves, wearing masks and before they come into the courthouse they have their temperature taken," he said.

Judge may tighten courthouse COVID-19 restrictions

Gonzales said the grand juries service is vital.

“We have to be able to have these cases presented for indictment. If not, then these cases would have to be dismissed," he said.

Gonzales praised the commitment of jurors.

“They have already indicated that they’re willing to continue their service,” he said. “If we had to select a new grand jury, it would be quite a dilemma for us.”

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March. The first case confirmed in the U.S. was in mid-January and the first case confirmed in San Antonio was in mid-February.

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