After loosening mask restrictions over the past few months, the surge of Delta variant infections around the country has New York on more vigilant ground to protect its city, its economy, and its people. The court system is following suit and instituting stricter protection protocols beginning now. 

The New York State Unified Court System announced that starting on Friday, August 13, 2021, it will re-implement some mask restrictions and it will modify the vaccine-pass program that allowed vaccinated judges, court employees, attorneys, and other court users to bypass daily COVID health checks upon entering courthouses.

In order to further our ongoing efforts to ensure the health and safety of all employees and court users and in keeping with our commitment to follow the most up to date guidance promulgated by public health authorities, effective Friday, August 13,2021 and until further notice, the Unified Court System will temporarily suspend the green attorney/agency pass and white visitor pass program and require all court users. regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask or face covering at all times while present in any of our court facilities.

ln addition, the orange card program for fully vaccinated judges and non-judicial staff will be modified to require that such card holders wear a mask or face covering in all public areas of the court or facility, as well as any areas and/or situations where physical distancing is not possible. Orange card holders will continue to be able to enter and remain in non-public areas of court facilities without wearing a mask/face covering, being mindful of physical distancing requirements.

Uniformed staff will take steps to ensure any signage reflecting exemptions to mask requirements for fully vaccinated individuals is removed or otherwise not visible. as well as begin enforcing the suspension of the attorney/agency), and visitor passes, i.e., masks/face coverings must be worn by court users at all times regardless of vaccination status.

Judges and non-judicial staff with orange cards may continue to enter courts/facilities without having to undergo a temperature screening and continue to be exempt from the daily COVID Self-Assessment. All other court users. including green card holders, must have their temperature taken and undergo the COVID screening before entry.

Click here to read the memorandum in its entirety.