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COVID-19 outbreak reported in Kristin Smart murder trial participants


SALINAS, Calif. – A COVID-19 outbreak has been reported among trial participants in the high-profile Kristin Smart murder trial that has been taking place in a Salinas courthouse over the past several weeks, the Monterey County Superior Court announced on Thursday.

Three trial participants tested positive for this virus this past week, constitution an outbreak by CalOSHA standards, said Norma Ramirez-Zapata, spokeswoman for the court. However, the court said that there is no indication that there has been any COVID-19 transmission between anyone in the courtroom itself.

CalOSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards define an outbreak as three or more positive cases among agency personnel in an exposed group within a 14-day period.

With the California Department of Public Health recently defining close COVID-19 contacts as anyone who was within the same indoor air space for more than 15 minutes in a 25-hour period, the courtroom where the trial was being held would be considered an indoor air space.

Because of the outbreak, anyone who was in the courtroom any time since Aug. 2 is considered to have been exposed to the virus and must test for the virus on Saturday, continue to carefully self-monitor, and continue to wear a mask in the courthouse until notified otherwise.

The court did not indicate that the outbreak would delay the trial.

Article Topic Follows: San Luis Obispo County
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Jade Martinez-Pogue

Jade Martinez-Pogue is the Assignment Editor and web journalist at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Jade, click here


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