South Tyneside Magistrates' court closed after staff member tests positive for covid

The wheels of justice ground to an abrupt halt when a covid case closed South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 5:09 pm
South Tyneside Magistrates' Court deals with cases from around the North East.

Defendants did not get their day in court after a staff member showed virus symptoms during his shift on Friday, March 26.

The worker left mid-morning to take a lateral flow coronavirus test, which proved positive, prompting the facility to shut down as a safety precaution.

Managers ended proceedings at lunchtime, and defendants who had arrived for afternoon cases were not allowed inside. A deep clean was also ordered.

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The building, in Secretan Way, South Shields, was also cleared of solicitors and staff.

HM Courts and Tribunals confirmed a staff member had taken a test for covid as soon as they had started to feel unwell – and that a positive result had followed.

It stressed the court operated as a covid-secure environment, with social distancing measures in place throughout, including the obligatory use of face masks.

A spokeswoman said a small number of cases have been adjourned, but did not reveal if the court would be operational next week.

She added: “The court closed this afternoon for a precautionary deep clean after a staff member tested positive for Covid-19.”

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