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.
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.