Pasadena’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reopened to the general public on Sept. 1.
According to the court’s website, masks are encouraged but not generally required and the panels may require masks in the courtroom or for large group or high-density events.
“No one shall enter a Ninth Circuit Courthouse if they have first tested positive for COVID-19 within the previous 5 days, are sick and currently awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test, have had a fever within the last 24 hours, or have had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (e.g. fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea) that have not improved within the previous five days.
The courthouse has been closed to the public since the pandemic began in 2020.
The re-openings come on the heels of a decision by the Biden administration last week to stop COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated federal government employees. The administration also stopped asking employees and visitors if they were vaccinated before they entered federal buildings.
“We still don’t want people to come into courtrooms if they’re sick or exposed, but it’s a transition,” said Susan Gelmis, the chief deputy clerk for operations at the 9th Circuit. “We’ve been very mindful and cautious all along as we make changes.”
The pandemic forced courts to stream cases, something the Ninth Circuit had done long before the pandemic began.