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London courthouse reopens following coronavirus-related closure

The courthouse first closed on Mar. 17 after an employee from the building test positive for COVID-19.
The courthouse first closed on Mar. 17 after an employee from the building test positive for COVID-19. Matthew Trevithick / Global News

The London courthouse reopened on Monday following a near two-week closure that was related to the novel coronavirus.

The courthouse first closed on March 17, after it was discovered the previous night that an employee from the building had tested positive for COVID-19.

READ MORE: London courthouse remains closed after employee tests positive for COVID-19

“Before being tested, the individual was at work between March 9th and March 10th and has not since returned to the building,” said director of operations Samantha Poisson in a memo sent to staff and stakeholders on March 17.

The initial reopening date was set for March 18, but a later memo from acting deputy attorney general Irwin Glasberg revealed the courthouse would remain closed for the rest of that week to allow for thorough cleaning.

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In an email to Global News, a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Attorney General confirmed the courthouse had reopened on Monday, nearly two weeks after its initial closure.

READ MORE: Canadian legal experts worried about coronavirus court

“The building manager, CBRE, has completed enhanced cleaning of the courthouse to help reduce any potential risk of exposure to COVID-19,” said the ministry, adding that the courthouse was operating with limited in-person attendance.

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“Enhanced cleaning involves cleaning with stronger disinfectant cleaner. High-contact areas include door handles, hand rails, elevators, push plates, light switches, bathroom areas, etc.”

Most operations remain shut down for the Ontario Superior Court of Justice as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

The shutdown, will which will include all new trials, will last through April 3.

The court says it will continue to hear the most urgent matters.

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