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.

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

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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