Somerset County Courthouse

Somerset County Courthouse is shown on Monday, May 14, 2018.

SOMERSET – A second person in the Somerset County Clerk of Courts office has tested positive for COVID-19, and two jury trials scheduled for next week have been canceled as a precaution, President Judge D. Gregory Geary said on Friday.

"I received confirmation this morning that a second person has tested positive," Geary said.

The Clerk of Courts office has been closed since Wednesday when a staff member tested positive for the virus.

The Clerk of Courts office was professionally disinfected twice since it closed Wednesday, court administrator Tammy Escalera said on Friday.

It will reopen after tests show there are staff with negative virus results who can operate the office, the judge said.

Other offices in the courthouse remain open, including the District Attorney's Office, Prothonotary, Register of Wills and Sheriff's Department.

Two jury trials scheduled for next week were canceled to protect the public and potential jurors, Escalera said.

Angie Svonavec, Somerset County prothonotary, said her staff disinfects the office twice a day, uses hand sanitizer and wears masks. Svonavec said she was not surprised that a courthouse employee tested positive.

"I felt it was only a matter time before we would probably see a case or two because we're seeing on the news that COVID-19 is on the rise," she said.

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5061. Follow him on Twitter @PatBuchnowskiTD.

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