Court buildings in Boone County will follow Columbia's mandatory mask ordinance unless it interferes with judicial operations, according to an administrative order announced Wednesday.
This new order will be in effect from 5 p.m. Friday through Oct. 8 in the Boone County Courthouse, Treatment Court Building and Juvenile Justice Center, 13th Judicial Circuit Court Administer Mary Epping said via email.
The goal is to protect people in those buildings and make the courts safe places, she said.
“Judges and commissioners will be removing their masks at the bench so that people can understand them, but that is considered their work space and is 6 feet away from others,” she said.
As long as they are 6 feet away from others, lawyers and parties can also remove their masks if they want or if a judge cannot hear or understand them when their case is called and they approach the attorney tables or bench, she said.
Masks will be provided to the staff and public who do not have one, according to the administrative order.