ST. LOUIS – No jury trials will be held in St. Louis Circuit Court until at least the end of the year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presiding Judge Rex M. Burlison announced the move on Friday, a day after learning that eight of the court’s staff and one grand juror had tested positive for the coronavirus, a spokesperson said.
The virus is accelerating throughout the area as well as across the nation.
As of Monday, the city of St. Louis has tallied 10,503 confirmed cases, with 289 additional suspected cases; 223 people in the city have died of COVID-19.
On Monday, Dr. Alex Garza, head of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, warned that area hospitals were likely to be overwhelmed in the next few weeks as admissions continue to soar. ICU beds have been filling rapidly, and some hospitals have had to postpone elective procedures again.
The court has held no jury trials since March, although it has continued to summon jurors and schedule some cases for trial.
Coronavirus cases are surging across the region. The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force reported record-breaking new admissions and continued hospitalizations within the last week.