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Callaway County courts have loosened COVID-19 safety measures.

The Callaway County Courthouse has been operating on "Phase 1" measures, including a 10-person limit in courtrooms. On Monday, the courthouse moved to Phase 2.

The court will increase in-person court proceedings, including the most extraordinary, pressing and urgent grand and petit jury proceedings, while still abiding by social distancing protocols and using teleconferencing and video conferencing technology whenever possible.

The new occupancey limit for courtrooms, jury assembly rooms, jury deliberating rooms, break rooms and other areas is 25 or fewer people.

Face masks or coverings are still required in the courthouse.

"The court has face shields available for witnesses and parties if needed," court administrator Mary Epping said in an email. "There are masks available for anyone who needs them."

The court bases safety measures on COVID-19 health conditions in the community, as well as case counts in court facilities. If any court employee, bailiff or court personnel tests positive, the court is moved back to a lower phase.

Over the course of the pandemic, the Callaway County Courthouse and the 13th Circuit have moved back and forth through the phases depending on conditions.

According to the Callaway County Health Department, as of Feb. 19 there were 110 active cases in the county. Local cases have been on the decline since November.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 3,831 Callawegians have tested postive for the illness. Fourty have died.

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