The Capital Judicial Center in Augusta remained closed this week due to a staffing shortage related to COVID-19. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file Buy this Photo

AUGUSTA — The Capital Judicial Center, which was initially expected to reopen Monday after closing to the public last week following an employee testing positive for COVID-19, remains closed and isn’t expected to reopen until next week.

Court officials said the center, home to superior and district courts in Augusta, remains closed for the same reason it closed last week: a shortage of enough staff to open the building to the public.

One employee of the courthouse tested positive for COVID-19 last week, prompting officials to close the courthouse to the public Nov. 24 and 25. Amy Quinlan, director of court communications, said the building was closed to the public due to a staffing shortage created when the employee was diagnosed with COVID-19, not because the building was unsafe.

The building was closed anyway Nov. 26 and 27 due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The courthouse was initially scheduled to reopen Monday, Nov. 30, but officials noted they had to reevaluate staffing levels before making the final decision on whether to reopen.

They decided not to reopen to the public until Monday, Dec. 7, though court workers are still inside the building and working.

“It is a matter of having sufficient resources to staff the building for public use,” Quinlan said by email.

Information on whether any additional employees have tested positive for COVID-19, or are in quarantine due to potentially being exposed, was not available Monday.

Quinlan said people with court dates that were scheduled during the closure will be contacted by the court to reschedule their cases.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Maine, and the nation, has been rising recently, and the courts have taken additional measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The court’s announcement of the closure said those who have come into close contact with the employee who tested positive have been notified, consistent with guidelines from the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention.

Signs taped to the door of the courthouse said anyone seeking a protection from abuse order should contact Waterville District Court.

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