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Keahuolu Courthouse employee tests positive for COVID-19

Kona District Court is tentatively scheduled to resume proceedings Tuesday after a Keahuolu Courthouse employee tested positive for COVID-19.

The individual was last at work on Monday, the Judiciary announced Friday. After getting tested on Tuesday, the individual was initially told the result was negative. However, the individual’s provider called on Thursday to say that the result was actually positive, said judiciary spokesperson Jan Kagehiro.

After conferring with the Department of Health, coworkers with close, prolonged contact with the affected individual were notified and advised to seek guidance from their medical providers. They will return to work when medically appropriate to do so, Kagehiro said.

The Kona District Court calendar had 103 cases Monday, however, because the employee always wore a mask and did not have close, prolonged contact with nonemployees, Kagehiro said the Judiciary was by the Department of Health that notification of defendants was not needed.

The courtroom was closed on Friday for thorough cleaning and disinfecting. Traffic and criminal cases were continued and notices have already been mailed to the parties with their new court dates. Alternatively, the information can be found on eCourt Kokua or by contacting Kona District Court.

Friday’s in-custody hearings, which couldn’t be continued, were heard in Hilo. Circuit Court proceedings continued at the Keahuolu Courthouse, however.

“We are conferring with the Department of Health on reopening the Kona District Court on Tuesday,” said Kagehiro in an email response.

All courts will be closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday.

This is the second positive case for a Judiciary employee on Hawaii Island. The first occurred in early August at the South Kohala District Court courthouse in Waimea, when an employee tested positive prompting the closure of the facility until Aug. 18.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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