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Ohio chief justice urges caution as coronavirus cases spike

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Judges must continue adhering to strict health precautions as Ohio sees record-high numbers of coronavirus cases, the chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court warned Friday.

Mask wearing, temperature taking, sanitizing and socially distancing are mandatory practices to keep people safe, Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said in a letter sent to all Ohio judges.

“Your first consideration as a judge is the health and safety of your employees and the public who enter the courthouse,” she said.

Courts halting in-person jury trials after suspending them earlier this year are doing the right thing, O’Connor said.

The 7-day rolling average of daily new cases in Ohio has risen from 2,083 on Oct. 22 to 2,643 new cases on Oct. 29.

The Ohio Health Department reported 3,845 daily confirmed and probable virus cases Friday, the highest in the state’s pandemic history, breaking a record set one day earlier. Nearly every county in the state is at a high-risk level for coronavirus infections.