COVID-19 and the Kentucky Courts

It’s been over two years since the COVID-19 pandemic first impacted Kentucky, and it’s uplifting to see a return to normal as case numbers and hospitalizations decrease across the commonwealth. The Centers for Disease Control recently updated its guidance regarding COVID-19 prevention measures based on the COVID-19 Community Levels. Under this guidance, decisions regarding appropriate COVID-19 precautions should be made based on each community’s level of infection and hospital admissions.

Considering this change in CDC guidance, the Supreme Court has entered Administrative Order 2022-12, which rescinds three of its previous orders relating to COVID-19:

Administrative Order 2022-21 clarifies that the chief circuit judge in each circuit maintains the authority to require the use of facial coverings within a judicial facility, especially if a county’s “community level” increases. Similarly, individual judges can require the use of masks in their courtrooms or in specific instances, and circuit court clerks can require mask usage among employees and visitors to their offices.

You can email questions or concerns to COVIDCourtConcerns@kycourts.net.

Court System Preparedness & Response

Administrative Order 2022-25, May 5, 2022, (Rescinds Administrative Order 2021-32 in its entirety) COVID-19 Vaccine Leave for Kentucky Court of Justice Employees

Administrative Order 2022-12, March 22, 2022, (Amends Administrative Orders 2020-65, 2021-27 and 2021-28) Kentucky Court of Justice Response to COVID-19 Emergency

Administrative Order 2021-32, Sept. 3, 2021, (Amends Administrative Order 2021-21) COVID-19 Vaccine Leave, COVID-19 Testing Leave, and Emergency Sick Leave for Kentucky Court of Justice Employees

Administrative Order 2021-29, Aug. 11, 2021, (Amends Administrative Order 2020-77) Kentucky Court of Justice Response to COVID-19 Emergency: Amended Emergency Release Schedule

Administrative Order 2021-28, Aug. 9, 2021, (Replaces Administrative Order 2021-17) Kentucky Court of Justice Response to COVID-19 Emergency: Court Proceedings

Administrative Order 2021-27, Aug. 9, 2021, (Replaces Administrative Order 2021-16) Kentucky Court of Justice Response to COVID-19 Emergency: Health and Safety Requirements

Administrative Order 2021-25, Rescinding Section1(c) of Administrative Order 2020-77

Administrative Order 2021-21, June 10, 2021 (Replaces Administrative Order 2020-03) COVID-19 Vaccine Leave for Kentucky Court of Justice Employees

Administrative Order 2021-17, May 18, 2021 (Replaces Administrative Order 2020-07) Kentucky Court of Justice Response to COVID-19 Emergency: Court Proceedings

Administrative Order 2021-16, May 18, 2021 (Replaces Administrative Order 2020-06) Kentucky Court of Justice Response to COVID-19 Emergency: Health and Safety Requirements

Administrative Order 2021-03, Jan. 12, 2021 (Replaces Administrative Order 2020-66) Work Alternatives for High-Risk Employees and Asymptomatic COVID Testing Leave for Kentucky Court of Justice Employees in a Pandemic or Public Health Emergency

Administrative Order 2020-77, Dec. 17, 2020 (Amends Administrative Order 2020-67, dated Sept. 25, 2020) Amended Emergency Release Schedule and Pretrial Drug Testing Standards

Administrative Order 2020-66, Sept. 25, 2020 (Amends Administrative Order 2020-58, Aug. 7, 2020) Amended Emergency Release Schedule and Pretrial Drug Testing Standards

Administrative Order 2020-65, Sept. 15, 2020 (Amends Administrative Order 2020-46, dated May 29, 2020) Custody and Parenting Time Orders

Administrative Order 2020-64, Aug. 28, 2020: Kentucky Court of Justice Response to COVID-19 Emergency: Expansion of Court Proceedings (Amends Supreme Court Order 2020-56, dated July 27, 2020)

Administrative Order 2020-63, Aug. 28, 2020: Kentucky Court of Justice Response to COVID-19 Emergency: Health and Safety Requirements (Amends Supreme Court Order 2020-55, dated July 27, 2020)

Administrative Order 2020-62, Aug. 21, 2020 (Administrative Order 2020-62 was entered Aug. 21, 2020, to amend Order 2020-59.) Jefferson County Eviction Diversion Pilot Project

Administrative Order 2020-61, Aug. 17, 2020 (Administrative Order 2020-61 was entered Aug. 17, 2020, to amend Order 2020-50.) Administration of 2020 Bar Examination

Administrative Order 2020-60, Aug. 17, 2020: Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court

Administrative Order 2020-47, May 29, 2020 (Replaces in its entirety Administrative Order 2020-23, dated April 14, 2020) Flexible Staffing Guidelines for Court Clerks in a Pandemic or Public Health Emergency

Administrative Order, May 20, 2020: Extension of Continuing Judicial Education Reporting Deadline and Waiver of Limitation on Recorded Activities

Administrative Order, May 19, 2020: Kentucky Court of Justice Response to COVID-19 Emergency: Expansion of Court Proceedings

Administrative Order May 15, 2020: Kentucky Court of Justice Response to COVID-19 Emergency - Health and Safety Requirements for the Expansion of Court Operations

Administrative Order May 5, 2020 (Administrative Order 2020-32, dated May 5, 2020, replaces in its entirety Administrative Order 2020-14, dated March 27, 2020.) Custody and Parenting Time Orders

Administrative Order April 30, 2020 (Administrative Order 2020-31, dated April 30, 2020, replaces in its entirety Administrative Order 2020-15, dated March 31, 2020.) Deadline for Reporting Continuing Legal Education Activities

Administrative Order April 28, 2020 (Administrative Order 2020-29, dated April 28, 2020, replaces in its entirety Administrative Order 2020-17, dated April 1, 2020.) Extension of Filing Deadlines for Supreme Court of Kentucky and Kentucky Court of Appeals

Administrative Order April 24, 2020 (Administrative Order 2020-28, dated April 24, 2020, replaces in its entirety Administrative Order 2020-22, dated April 14, 2020.) Kentucky Court of Justice Response to COVID-19 Emergency

Administrative Order April 23, 2020 (Administrative Order 2020-27, dated April 23, 2020, replaces in its entirety Administrative Order 2020-25, dated April 14, 2020.) Kentucky Court of Justice Emergency Release Schedule for Pretrial Defendants and Emergency Pretrial Drug Testing Standards in Response to COVID-19 Emergency

Administrative Order April 14, 2020 (Administrative Order 2020-23, dated April 14, 2020, replaces in its entirety Administrative Order 2020-18, dated April 3, 2020.) Flexible Staffing Guidelines for Court Clerks in a Pandemic or Public Health Emergency

Administrative Order April 14, 2020 (Administrative Order 2020-24, dated April 14, 2020, replaces in its entirety Administrative Order 2020-20, dated April 7, 2020.) Special Emergency Directed Leave for Kentucky Court of Justice Employees in a Pandemic or Public Health Emergency

Administrative Order April 3, 2020: Amendment to the By-Laws of the Kentucky Bar Association

Administrative Order March 31, 2020: Deadline for Reporting Continuing Legal Education Activities

May 17, 2022: COVID-19 vaccine leave to continue, testing leave and emergency sick leave to expire May 31, 2022​​

March 22, 2022: Supreme Court rescinds 3 COVID-19 orders as pandemic lessens hold on Kentucky

January 3, 2022: CDC Updates Isolation and Quarantine Guidelines​​

December 16, 2021: Reminder to stay safe and healthy this holiday season​​

November 4, 2021: Reminder about vaccine leave for COVID-19 boosters​​

September 27, 2021: Entrance signs regarding masks being encouraged or mandated are now available in other languages

September 3, 2021: Judicial Branch expands vaccine leave, reinstates testing leave and COVID-19 sick leave

August 11, 2021: Supreme Court releases order amending emergency release schedule

August 9, 2021: Latest changes to KCOJ COVID-19 Health and Safety Requirements

July 28, 2021: CDC changes mask recommendations in wake of COVID escalation

July 21, 2021: COVID cases driven by Delta variant call for renewed precautions

June 16, 2021: Public entrance sign lifting most COVID-19 restrictions now available in 12 languages

May 19, 2021: New public entrance sign reflects Supreme Court lifting most COVID restrictions

May 18, 2021: Supreme Court lifts most COVID-19 restrictions, changes effective immediately

May 14, 2021: Fully Vaccinated KCOJ Employees & Elected Officials No Longer Required to Wear Masks in KCOJ Facilities

March 30, 2021: Announcing latest changes to COVID-19 Health and Safety Requirements

March 9, 2021: COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures Still in Place as Vaccine Distribution Continues

March 5, 2021: Update Regarding Vaccination Registration

March 4, 2021: Announcing COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic for Kentucky Court of Justice Personnel

February 26, 2021: Orders Corrected, Supreme Court allows courts to begin easing COVID-19 restrictions

February 25, 2021: Supreme Court issues orders allowing courts to begin easing COVID-19 restrictions

February 4, 2021: How to Determine Your Eligibility for COVID-19 Vaccinations

January 13, 2021: COVID-19 Vaccinations for Kentucky Court of Justice Personnel

January 6, 2021: Supreme Court extends restrictions on jury trials, grand juries until April 1

December 22, 2020: COVID-19 Vaccination Schedule in Kentucky

November 20, 2020: Supreme Court amends court operations statewide to address escalating COVID cases

October 29, 2020: Guidelines for COVID precautions in red zones as cases surge this fall and winter

September 25, 2020: Supreme Court amends orders related to high-risk employees emergency release schedule

September 15, 2020: Supreme Court amends Custody and Parenting Time order

September 3, 2020: Latest public entrance signs now available in 12 commonly used languages

August 28, 2020: Supreme Court enters amended orders related to in-person testimony and evictions

August 17, 2020: Supreme Court announces 2 orders related to administration of Kentucky bar exam

August 10, 2020: Supreme Court announces pilot project to reduce eviction cases in Jefferson County

August 7, 2020: Asymptomatic court employees now eligible for paid leave to obtain COVID-19 testing

July 31, 2020: Announcing changes to COVID-19 Health and Safety Requirements for court personnel

July 29, 2020: Public entrance signs updated to reflect Supreme Court orders issued July 27

July 27, 2020: Supreme Court provides new guidance on staffing access to court facilities jury trials evictions

July 21, 2020: What to do if a court employee tests positive for or is exposed

June 12, 2020: 60 day deadline for travel vouchers temporarily waived due to COVID-19 disruptions

June 9, 2020: New public entrance signs about reopening procedures now available in 12 languages

June 5, 2020: Addressing bumps in the road as we plan for Reopening Week 2

May 30, 2020: Court facilities must post new public entrance signs about reopening procedures

May 29, 2020: Supreme Court provides updates on how courts will expand services starting June 1

May 29, 2020: Circuit Court Clerks to resume limited driver's license services statewide June 1

May 19, 2020: Guidance on jury trials as courts plan to gradually expand operations June 1

May 15, 2020: Judicial Branch announces plan to resume limited in-person court services starting June 1

May 14, 2020: Announcing cost-cutting measures for Judicial Branch effective May 15 2020

May 8, 2020: Updated Facilities Closed sign announces in-person services suspended until May 31

May 6, 2020: Supreme Court extends guidance on custody and parenting time orders to May 31 2020

May 1, 2020: Reopening Task Forces will prepare courts to resume limited in-person services

April 24, 2020: Your civility and cooperation are helping us get through these trying times

April 24, 2020: Supreme Court issues additional guidance on handling court matters during pandemic

April 23, 2020: Supreme Court amends emergency release schedule clarifies that order applies only to new arrests

April 17, 2020: Taking additional steps to flatten the curve protect defendants and court partners

April 14, 2020: Supreme Court issues emergency release schedule, pretrial drug testing standards

April 14, 2020: Supreme Court extends 3 orders governing courts during pandemic to May 31

April 10, 2020: Signage Notice for Posting at Public Entrances

April 10, 2020: Message from Chief Justice In uncertain times spring is still a season of new beginnings

April 8, 2020: Social distancing more important than ever as COVID-19 cases expected to peak

April 3, 2020: Judicial Branch gets a budget courts enact more stringent social distancing measures

April 3, 2020: 50/50 staffing schedule for offices of circuit and appellate clerks

April 2, 2020: Court facilities must post 2 new public entrance signs restricting access

April 1, 2020: Supreme Court suspends in-person services at court facilities, requires court proceedings

March 31, 2020: Supreme Court order gives attorneys more time to complete continuing legal education

March 27, 2020: Thanks for another week of working together during state of emergency

March 27, 2020: Supreme Court provides guidance for custody and parenting time orders

March 26, 2020: Supreme Court issues new amendments to order limiting in-person court proceedings

March 25, 2020: Public entrance sign for court facilities now available in 9 languages

March 24, 2020: Judicial Branch is providing essential services during pandemic

March 20, 2020: Time to focus on looming COVID-19 crisis in Kentucky's overcrowded jails

March 20, 2020: Further Guidance and Sample Orders for Issuing Quarantine Orders

March 20, 2020: Chief Justice Minton sends thanks to Judicial Branch family for amazing work

March 19, 2020: Introducing 50/50 staffing schedule for offices of circuit and appellate clerks

March 17, 2020: Supreme Court issues new amendments to order restricting court proceedings during pandemic

March 17, 2020: Judicial Branch announces guide to govern personnel actions during COVID-19 outbreak

March 17, 2020: Guidance for Issuing Quarantine Orders

March 17, 2020: Driver's license offices to close by 5 p.m. March 17 for social distancing

March 17, 2020: Court personnel urged to remain calm as Judicial Branch prepares to take additional measures

March 13, 2020: Notice to post attached sign at all public entrances to your court facility

March 13, 2020: AMENDED ORDER Supreme Court places restrictions on court proceedings

March 12, 2020: Supreme Court restricts court proceedings to observe social distancing

March 11, 2020: Legal guidance on handling isolation and quarantine orders

March 11, 2020: KCOJ suspends out-of-state travel, discourages large-group meetings

March 10, 2020: Kentucky Personnel Cabinet provides protocols for state employees

March 9, 2020: Judicial Branch's response to COVID-19

February 26, 2020: Judicial Branch Preparing in event of coronavirus outbreak in Kentucky


Aug. 9, 2021: New Supreme Court order encourages wearing masks in judicial buildings due to Delta variant

Oct. 29, 2020: Supreme Court issues guidelines for COVID precautions in ‘red zones’ as cases surge this fall and winter

Aug. 28, 2020: Supreme Court announces amended orders related to in-person testimony and evictions

Aug. 11, 2020: Supreme Court announces pilot project to reduce eviction cases in Jefferson County

July 27, 2020: Supreme Court provides new guidance on staffing, access to court facilities, jury trials, evictions

July 9, 2020: Supreme Court cancels in-person bar exams in 2020 as precaution during pandemic, announces remote bar exam Oct. 5-6

July 2, 2020: Gov. Beshear issues orders allowing driver’s licenses to be renewed remotely through Sept. 30 and ending 90-day extension to renew licenses

May 19, 2020: Supreme Court provides guidance on jury trials as courts plan to gradually expand operations starting June 1

May 14, 2020: Chief Justice Minton announces cost-cutting measures for Judicial Branch

May 1, 2020: Chief Justice Minton forms Reopening Task Forces to prepare courts to resume limited in-person services

April 24, 2020: Supreme Court issues additional guidance on handling court matters during pandemic

April 20, 2020: Supreme Court to hear arguments by videoconference April 22 due to COVID-19

April 14, 2020: Supreme Court extends suspension of in-person court services through May 31, 2020

April 1, 2020: Supreme Court suspends in-person services at court facilities, requires court proceedings to be conducted remotely through May 1

March 31, 2020: Supreme Court order gives attorneys more time to complete continuing legal education for 2019-2020 educational year

March 27, 2020: Supreme Court provides guidance for custody and parenting time orders during the pandemic

March 26, 2020: Supreme Court issues new amendments to order limiting in-person court proceedings, extends restrictions to April 24

March 17, 2020: Supreme Court issues new amendments March 17 to order restricting court proceedings during pandemic

March 17, 2020: Driver’s license offices statewide closing for social distancing