Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Deputy Public Defender Assigned There Tested Positive for COVID-19
By a MetNews Staff Writer
An unnamed deputy public defender entered the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Sylmar courthouse while infected with coronavirus, resulting in a three-day shutdown of the facility which began yesterday.
Announcement of the closure was made on Sunday. A press release said that Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile learned on Saturday that the deputy, who had been caring for an ill relative, had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier that week, as had the relative.
Brazile took the action pursuant to his inherent powers as well as emergency powers expressly delegated to him, in light of the epidemic, by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. The press release indicated that the two courtrooms in the facility, where juvenile delinquency matters are heard, “have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected” and would be “cleaned again on Monday.”
Cases were shifted for the three-day period to the Michael D. Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse in Lancaster.
The affected judges and staff members will be “self quarantined” for two weeks, it was announced.
The Office of Public Defender declined to identify the deputy, citing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPPA”), which applies to health care providers and plans. Asked to identify the particular portion of HIPPA being relied upon, an office spokesperson replied, in an email:
“Under HIPAA rules we are not disclosing the name. Thank you.”
Copyright 2020, Metropolitan News Company