Justice of the Peace Court a COVID hotspot

January 10, 2023

Since the COVID outbreak began, I have been fully vaccinated and boosted. I have been constantly protecting myself from any possible environment to ensure I reduce my exposure to this infectious disease. Now, I have COVID and I have a very strong opinion that I was exposed to the COVID disease at Justice of the Peace Court 2.

I was required to attend a mandatory appearance at Justice of the Peace Court 2 Dec. 29. The waiting room was severely overcrowded. Although I stood next to a sign on the wall that said “Wear your mask and stay 6 feet away,” this was impossible! No one was wearing a mask, and we were squeezed into spaces with less than 1 foot of personal space. We were required to sit in chairs that were so close to each other that I was physically touching my neighbors. There were more than 30 chairs all full of seated persons plus another dozen or more standing.

The courtroom was equally a health risk. I was told to take a seat in a chair with seven people within a 3-foot radius. Overall, the exposure time until I was able to leave the court property crossed the two-hour mark.

As a resident and taxpayer of Sussex County for more than 50 years, I suggest reform to the policies and opportunities for improvement to Justice of the Peace Court 2.

1. Additional parking spaces for this site.

2. A review of the policies that define the number of people assigned for court appearances to this site.

3. Improve the space available for people assigned to the waiting room and courtroom.

4. Enforce Delaware’s COVID guidelines.

Action is needed to solve these problems, but who is responsible to make these changes? 

Feffie Barnhill


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