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Delaware suspends all jury trials amid coronavirus fears

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An illustration of the coronavirus.

All civil and criminal jury trials in Delaware have been suspended until April 15 under an order aimed at protecting jurors, lawyers, judges and court staff from coronavirus.

The order was issued Sunday by Judge Jan Jurden, president judge of Superior Court in Delaware. It says anyone who has been summoned for jury duty is excused and should not report to court. The grand jury and other court proceedings that involve smaller groups of people will continue.

Status hearings in specialty courts will also be postponed. Those include veteran’s court, mental health court, drug court and reentry court.

Under the order, probation violation hearings for non-incarcerated offenders will also be postponed. Probation hearings for incarcerated offenders will be heard at the discretion of the judicial officer.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the virus.

The outbreak has caused more than 5,800 deaths out of 156,000 cases worldwide.

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