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Courthouse closes after employee tests positive for COVID-19

The Bernalillo County Courthouse in Downtown Albuquerque.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The 2nd Judicial District Courthouse downtown closed early Thursday after an employee tested positive for coronavirus. The building will reopen on Monday.

The employee who tested positive was last in the building March 27, and began showing symptoms days after that, according to a news release from the court. Centers for Disease Control guidelines say there is a 14-day window for potential exposure from contact with a person who has the virus, which would end on Friday, April 10.

“We have no reason at this time to believe any other court employees have contracted the virus. However, we believe the prudent thing to do is close the courthouse for a thorough cleaning before reopening it for our employees and the public,” 2nd Judicial District Chief Judge Stan Whitaker said in the release.

State courts in New Mexico have remained open in the midst of the public health emergency, but the judiciary has ordered courts to take a variety of precautions in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19.

That includes suspension of most criminal and civil jury trials, holding many hearings via phone and video, reducing the number of employees in the courthouse each day and implementing enhanced cleaning procedures.

The Children’s Division, located in the Juvenile Justice Center on 2nd Street, will remain open for business.

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