The Capital Judicial Center in Augusta was closed for about two weeks due to a staffing shortage related to COVID-19. It reopened on Monday. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file Buy this Photo

AUGUSTA — The Capital Judicial Center reopened to the public Monday, after being closed since Nov. 24 after some employees tested positive for COVID-19 and others were in quarantine.

The courthouse, site of superior and district courts for Kennebec County, closed Nov. 24 after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

Court officials later confirmed Dec. 1 that two other employees had since tested positive, bringing the total to three.

The courthouse remained closed to the public until it reopened Monday morning due to a lack of staff, according to Amy Quinlan, director of court communications for the state judicial system.

Quinlan said employees who have come in contact with the three individuals who have tested positive had been notified and were quarantining. A total of 14 employees were in quarantine.

She said work spaces at the courthouse have been cleaned, consistent with Center for Disease Control & Prevention guidelines.


Quinlan said none of the three employees who tested positive for COVID-19 had interactions with the public at the Capital Judicial Center.

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

The need to reschedule those cases and hearings is likely to further clog a court schedule that was already crowded as the courts deal with restrictions on the number of people who can gather together in public and some cases backed up since early in the coronavirus pandemic when courts where closed to most proceedings.

Maeghan Maloney, district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties, said last week every time cases are rescheduled, they are moved to weeks that are already filled with cases, causing court dockets to balloon.

By Monday afternoon the courthouse was fairly quiet, with not much activity nor many members of the public there, though workers said it was busier in the morning when it first reopened.

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

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