SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Caddo Parish District Court on Friday announced that all jury trials scheduled through March 1 have been continued and will be reset to later dates due to COVID-19 concerns.

The suspension of all jury trials includes both criminal and civil cases.

The Court Order signed by Caddo District Court Chief Judge Ramona Emanuel was effective Jan. 10 in response to the spread of COVID-19 and the subsequent staffing issues within the agencies working directly with the Court and, “In recognition that there have been more than one million reported COVID infections within the state of Louisiana.”

The state passed the one-million COVID-19 cases milestone on Tuesday.

The order was issued under the public health emergency declared by Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court state gave local district courts the responsibility to evaluate and determine whether jury trials can be conducted safely.

The order states that the current health emergency constitutes good grounds to suspend the speedy trial delays and the “current health emergency constitutes good grounds” to continue and reschedule trials on the docket through March 1.

“Further, given the concerns of litigants, witnesses and jurors, the Court finds that the interests of justice warrants continuances in all matters not specifically excepted.”