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Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: What safety measures have been implemented for juror selection and jury duty?

Question: I just got a pre-service survey for jury duty, stating that I would be summoned to appear at the Circuit Court of the First Circuit during the week of May 10. Will social distancing be maintained in the jury selection pool room and the jury box?

Answer: Yes. A safety video for the First Circuit (Oahu) shows how that state court has adapted to the pandemic. You can watch the full video at 808ne.ws/jurysafety, but here’s a summary of what prospective and selected jurors can expect:

When you get to the courthouse, a bailiff will meet you outside and direct you. You must wear a face mask; one will be given to you if you forget. You’ll have a touchless temperature check and staff will ask you standard screening questions to assess whether you may have recently been exposed to COVID-19.

The whole time you are at the courthouse, social distancing must be maintained, whether you are standing, sitting or using the elevators. Signs and wall, floor and furniture markings will remind you.

Juror selection will be done in the largest courtroom at Honolulu District Court on Alakea Street, to allow greater social distancing.

If you are selected for a jury, the case will be heard at either the District Court or at the Circuit Court building on Punchbowl Street near Waterfront Plaza, formerly known as Restaurant Row.

At either location, if chosen to serve, you’ll be given a plastic face shield, a bottle of hand sanitizer, an ID badge, a notebook and a pen. You’ll be assigned a dedicated juror seat, distanced from other jurors. “These will be yours. No one else will touch them for the duration of the trial,” the video says.

In general, cleaning has increased at all state court buildings, especially in high-traffic areas such as restrooms. There are hand-sanitizer dispensers throughout the buildings and disinfecting wipes in each courtroom. Each courtroom is cleaned between uses.

The Judiciary says all procedures to keep jurors safe have been reviewed by Hawaii’s Department of Health and follow all applicable guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection.

Q: Do I need to reschedule my second dose of COVID-19 vaccine because I am on antibiotics before a root canal? I am not sick. What is the number for the vaccine hot line to ask?

A: No. The CDC says COVID-19 vaccine should not be withheld simply because a person is on antibiotics. See page 3 of the CDC’s pre-vaccination checklist at 808ne.ws/vacscr.

The phone number for the Hawaii Department of Health’s Vaccine Call Center is 808-586-8332. It accepts calls Mondays through Fridays from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Q: When will the Parks Department reopen gyms to the general public?

A: A reopening date for general use has yet to be announced.

“Only outdoor facilities are being permitted at this time. Indoor park facilities (gymnasiums, recreation rooms, etc.) remain closed to the public and are not being permitted at this time due to sanitation and ventilation requirements” related to deterring the spread of COVID-19, Honolulu County’s Department of Parks and Recreation says on its website.

Find more information, including about permits for outdoor sports at city parks, at 808ne.ws/sptper.

Mahalo

My friend and I were celebrating my 90th birthday at a Wahiawa restaurant. When it came time to pay our bill, our waitress informed us that a gentleman who had walked past our table had paid our bill. He wanted to wish the birthday person a happy birthday. What a pleasant surprise and a delightful birthday present. Thank you, whoever you are! — K.M.


Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.


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