SAN ANTONIO – Social distancing was minimized for all and no masks are required for vaccinated people, indicating an easing of restrictions in the Bexar County court system.
Local administrative judge Ron Rangel issued the new health protocols this week after the Texas Supreme Court issued a new order last week on how the courts can proceed with in-person trials and hearings.
“Things seem to be improving very quickly in our community, “ Rangel said. “We can see it, and as result, we’re starting to loosen things up in the court system.”
These changes include cutting down social distancing to three feet for all and no masks required for those vaccinated.
The move allows jurors to sit in the jury box instead of the gallery, as long as they all feel comfortable doing so.
The new protocols also allow for county courts to hold jury selection in their courtrooms, allowing more trials to take place.
“The most the county courts could have that would be two trials on any given day. They can now have four jury trials,” Rangel said.
As a result, more than 200 cases have been resolved over the past few weeks.
“More than anything, it’s not just the jury trials that move cases, it’s the threat of a jury trial that gets cases moved,” Rangel said.
The latest order runs until Aug. 1, and then after that, it’s expected even more restrictions will be lifted.
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