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600,000 face masks distributed to Wisconsin circuit courts

Wisconsin court system staff have distributed 600,000 face masks to circuit courts around the state preparing to resume in-person proceedings and jury trials.

The Director of State Courts Office purchased the masks and allocated them according to the number of judge positions in each county. The Milwaukee County Circuit Court received more than 94,000 masks on Wednesday, making for the court system’s single largest delivery. About 500,000 masks have gone to other courts throughout the state since June 1.

According to a Wisconsin Supreme Court order issued in May, circuit courts must require people in courtrooms, jury rooms and other confined spaces to wear masks as a prerequisite to resuming in-person proceedings.

Before judges can hold in-person proceedings, the chief judge in each of the state’s nine judicial administrative districts must approve a circuit court’s plan to safely reopen.

The court information officer said that by June 11, chief judges had approved reopening plans for circuit courts in 14 Wisconsin counties, including Adams, Barron, Bayfield, Calumet, Dodge, Douglas, Dunn, Fond du Lac, Kewaunee, Marinette, Oconto, Rusk, Walworth and Waushara counties. Several other counties have submitted proposed plans for review.

The Wisconsin court system is keeping a revised list of counties with approved plans on its website.

About Michaela Paukner, [email protected]

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at [email protected]

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