IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH DAKOTA
ACCESS AND RULES WITHIN COURTHOUSES DUE TO STATUS OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC
AMENDED STANDING ORDER
Since March of 2020, this Court has implemented various safety precautions within courthouses in the District of South Dakota to seek to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus while performing the critical task of properly administering justice. Those safety precautions have paralleled guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many people now are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and the vaccines have been proven to be safe and very effective in preventing spread. Masks have proven critical to block the spread of the virus. The CDC periodically revises its guidance and now recommends that people wear masks in public indoor settings only in areas where the community levels of COVID-19 are "high". Now therefore,
IT IS ORDERED:
1. Masks must be worn in all common areas of any courthouse and probation office located within a South Dakota county where the community levels of COVID-19 are "high" as defined by the CDC. A gaiter, bandana, or handkerchief does not qualify as a mask under this standing order.
2. Anyone who has been exposed to the COVID-19 virus must wear a mask in all common areas of any courthouse and probation office for a period of ten days from the exposure.
3. The CSOs are to stop entry into the courthouse of anyone who:
• has contracted the COVID-19 virus and continues to have symptoms of the virus;
• has contracted the COVID-19 virus within the past 10 days but is asymptomatic after five days, unless such a person wears an N-95 style mask at all times within the courthouse;
• has been directed to self-quarantine by any doctor, medical provider, hospital, or health agency
The CSOs are authorized to question people entering the courthouse to determine whether
any person fits any of these criteria.
4. Anyone who has business to conduct in the courthouse but is unable to appear because of these restrictions should proceed as follows:
• If you are r presented by an attorney, please contact your attorney;
• If you are an attorney and you are scheduled to appear in court before a judge, please contact chambers directly (contact information is on the Court's website);
• If you are scheduled to meet with a Pretrial/Probationofficer, please contact the Probation office at (605) 977-8900;
• If you are a juror, please contact the Jury Administrator at (605) 330-6620;
• For Bankruptcy Court matters, please contact the Bankruptcy Clerk at (605) 357-2400;
• For all other matters, including paiiicipation in hearings remotely, please contact the District Clerk of Court at (605) 330-6600. The Court has made arrangements for members of the public to listen to hearings, and in some cases participate, by telephone.
5. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, the limited capacity for air exchange in some older courthouses, and need for flexibility in responding, the judicial officer before whom any hearing is scheduled may determine whether any different standards should apply for a particular court proceeding.
DATED this 30th day of September 2022.
ROBERTO A. LANGE, CHIEF JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF SOUTH DAKOTA