Those conducting business in the Arlington Courthouse now are being required to wear face coverings, following a directive by Chief Judge William Newman Jr.

“A cloth face covering should be worn whenever people must go into public settings where other social-distancing measures are difficult to maintain,” county officials said in announcing the change in policy. “A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others.”

For those without adequate face coverings at the ready upon entry to the courthouse complex, the sheriff’s office will provide one and will ask for its return upon departure. The coverings will then be “thoroughly washed” and be available for others, officials said.

“I am happy that we can offer a cloth face covering to those individuals who need to come into the Courthouse for official business,” Sheriff Beth Arthur said. “It is important that we all work together to get through this challenging time.”

Much routine court business has been delayed or moved online during the public-health pandemic. But statutorily required business continues in the building.

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