Jury trials are temporarily suspended once again in Santa Barbara County.
The order, signed Monday by Judge Gustavo Lavayen, applies only to trials that have not yet started and cites the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in the county since Jan. 3.
"Considering the ease of transmission of the Omicron variant, conducting jury trials would endanger court personnel, litigants, attorneys, jurors, and the public, as well as threaten the continuous performance of essential Court functions and operations,” the order stated.
Trials already in progress will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
The suspension lasts until Jan. 21.