COVID-19 pandemic forces Ontario Superior Court to suspend upcoming jury trials
Jury trials already underway will continue, attorney general's office says
Upcoming jury trials in the province have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice announced Thursday night.
"Ontario Superior Court of Justice has suspended jury selection for future trials at this time," the court said on Twitter.
"Jury panels for upcoming matters are being directed not to attend court."
The court said it will post more information on its website on Friday.
Jenessa Crognali, the senior communications adviser and press secretary in the attorney general's office, said this is a precautionary measure to keep the public, court users and staff safe.
Crognali said anyone who has received a summons for jury duty for an upcoming trial should not attend court.
However, she said jury trials already underway will continue.
"The Ministry of the Attorney General continues to monitor the evolving situation on COVID-19 and we will continue working with the [Superior Court of Justice] and other partners on preparedness planning for the justice sector," Crognali wrote in a news release.
The number of COVID-19 cases inOntario jumped dramatically on Thursday morning, with health officials confirming 17 new cases in Toronto, Peel, Waterloo and Halton.
Five of the total 59 cases have been resolved.
Ontario Superior Court of Justice <a href="https://twitter.com/SCJOntario_en?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SCJOntario_en</a> has suspended jury selection for future trials at this time. Jury panels for upcoming matters are being directed not to attend court. Jury trials currently in progress will continue, unless the trial judge orders otherwise.—@SCJOntario_en