Cincinnati's federal courthouse closes after security officer tests positive for COVID-19

Posted at 10:53 AM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 11:27:38-04

Cincinnati’s federal courthouse will be closed indefinitely after one security officer — a “rover” whose duties took him to every public space inside — was diagnosed with COVID-19.

The worker, who is not identified in a court order mandating the closure, last worked in the courthouse Sunday morning. He became symptomatic Sunday night and later tested positive for the virus.

Chief United States District Judge Algenon Marbley ordered the courthouse to close on Wednesday night, according to court documents.

The order instructs the clerk of court to remain in communication with all potentially affected employees and to work with federal agencies to determine when the building will be safe to reopen.

The Cincinnati courthouse, as well as its siblings in Columbus and Dayton, had already been largely closed to the public at the time of the worker’s diagnosis. Since March 23, per another order from Marbley, in-person hearings and trial dates have been delayed; arraignments and detention hearings have been conducted via teleconference; and document filings have been performed electronically or by mail.

Only criminal sentencing hearings for defendants who were in custody, not out on bond, had continued in person.