Bexar County magistrate judge tests positive for coronavirus

Courthouse reporter awaits results, prosecutor in quarantine

Bexar County magistrate judge tests positive for coronavirus
Bexar County magistrate judge tests positive for coronavirus

SAN ANTONIO – A part-time magistrate judge has tested positive for COVID-19 and a court reporter is awaiting test results, Bexar County Administrative Judge Ron Rangel said Thursday.

“At this point they’re both being isolated and we’re making sure that everybody they’ve had contact with is safe,” Rangel said.

Rangel said a prosecutor who had been exposed to the judge is in quarantine.

San Antonio Metropolitan Health District personnel are conducting contact tracing for anyone who may have had contact with the individuals.

Bexar County District Judge: Remote courtroom hearings have ‘serious issues’

“As we have a minimal number of folks working at the courthouse, we don’t anticipate it was a lot of folks that they may have had contact with,” Rangel added.

Empty hallways and mandatory face masks within the courthouse are among the reasons the numbers there are relatively low, according to Rangel.

He said despite Gov. Gregg Abbott’s plans to reopen Texas go into effect on Friday, nothing in the court system will change.

The only business conducted in the courts will be conducted remotely.

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

“I’m following minimally the Office of Court Administration guidelines which come from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court, and those have indicated that we should not have in-person hearings until June 1st," Rangel explained.

June 1 is the target date for lifting the moratorium on jury service.

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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