York County Domestic Relations office to reopen in wake of COVID-19 outbreak

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
York County Judicial Center

York County's domestic relations office will reopen Tuesday, according to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.

The office, located in the York County Judicial Center, was closed on Wednesday, March 31, after several workers there tested positive for COVID-19, according to AOPC spokesperson Stacey Witalec.

It was closed so the office could be cleaned and staff members could be cleared by medical professionals to return to work, she said.

Some of the workers in that office failed to follow guidelines regarding social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment, according to the state office. That lack of mask-wearing and disregard for guidelines resulted in employee-to-employee transmission, according to a previous AOPC news release.

On Monday, Witalec announced that the domestic relations office will reopen Tuesday and has been thoroughly cleaned.

Also on Monday, the AOPC alerted media that another judicial center employee has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

The employee last worked there on March 26 and had abided by social distancing and PPE guidelines, Witalec said.

At this point there's no indication that the public was exposed to the employee, she said.

The AOPC has notified the public about at least 35 employees in the York County Judicial Center who have tested positive for the virus.

The state agency isn't notified of every case of COVID-19 exposure in York County's courthouse. It's notified only in cases where affected employees' jobs are considered part of the state court system, according to Witalec.

The judicial center offices and departments that are considered part of the state court system, according to Witalec, are court administration, adult and juvenile probation, the county bail agency and its support office, court appointed special advocates (CASA), court interpreters, court reporters, the court's self-help center, divorce masters, domestic relations and county judges' judicial chambers.

Employees in York County's 19 magisterial district judge offices also are considered part of the state court system, Witalec has said.

She said offices in the judicial center not included in AOPC news releases are the clerk of courts office, district attorney's office, facilities management, protection from abuse advocates, prothonotary's office, public defender's office, register of wills/recorder of deeds and the sheriff's office.

At least two of those offices — the DA's office and the clerk of courts office — have made public announcements about employees who have tested positive for exposure to the virus.

Most recently, District Attorney Dave Sunday announced publicly on Facebook that he had contracted the virus and is recovering at home.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.