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Travis County pausing in-person jury trials due to COVID-19 spike

The County is again halting in-person jury trials.

AUSTIN, Texas — Jury trials are on pause again as Travis County and Austin deal with another surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Just weeks prior, Travis County reopened courts to jury trials to address a backlog of cases. On Tuesday, a Travis County spokesperson told KVUE that criminal courts have suspended in-person dockets and jury trials. Virtual dockets, including both in and out-of-jail defendants, will continue. 

This comes as the seven-day average for new hospital admissions is at 63 and an average of 366 people are hospitalized, according to Austin Public Health

Only 10 ICU beds were available in Central Texas on Monday, Aug. 2.

The threshold for Stage 5 in Austin-Travis County is 50 to 90 new hospital admissions, depending on the rate of increase. Austin and Travis County are officially under Stage 4 guidelines, however.

Civil and family court proceedings are continuing at full capacity with court proceedings. In July, they began a pilot program for in-person jury trials. They have suspended this pilot for now due to COVID-19.

Both sets of courts will continue monitoring the situation and will provide updates when it's safe to gather indoors again.

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