PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Six employees in the Allegheny County court system have tested positive for coronavirus.
Over the concerns of defense attorneys and others, trials and hearings will continue at the Allegheny County Courthouse despite a half dozen positive coronavirus cases among court system employees.
Defense attorney Patrick Nightingale sounded the alarm, saying everyone going in and of the county's court have been kept in the dark about employees coming down with COVID-19.
"I think it's absolutely imperative that we all know what's going on so we can do our best protect ourselves, protect our loved ones and protect the public," he said.
The earliest test dates back to June 25, and the most recent one was July 5. There are two cases in the courthouse, one in the City-County building, one in pretrial services, one at a district magistrate's office and one employee in the family division who was working from home.
A district court administrator says they're also aware of two attorneys who work in the courthouse and have tested positive.
The court administration says all of those employees have been isolated, quarantined and contact traced and that trials and hearings can safely continue in the Allegheny County Courthouse and the municipal courts building where no positive cases have been reported.
Only one court in the county will be closing, District Magistrate Anthony DeLuca's court in Penn Hills will be shutting down for the next two weeks after one employee tested positive for COVID-19. Court administrators say this is being done out of an abundance of caution.
Aaron Cristwell was in the court two weeks ago and came down today for some information to find the court shuttered. He does not believe he's at risk.
"Haven't gotten any symptoms or anything, but didn't know. They're pretty well protected in there. There was protector glass and you had no contact with anyone," he said.
The court system says all other buildings are safe and following CDC guidelines for operations. Still, all is not know about the state of infection. The District Attorney's Office reports three cases and the Sheriff's Office is reporting one.
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