Manchester-area magistrate office closed for COVID-19, plus 2 new cases in York's judicial center

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
York County Judicial Center

The Manchester-area magisterial district judge office is temporarily closed because a worker there tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.

It's the office of District Judge Robert Eckenrode in the 200 block of Rosedale Drive in East Manchester Township.

The employee last worked there on Friday and followed required guidelines regarding using personal protective equipment and engaging in social distancing when interacting with the public, according the Monday's news release.

The court office will remain closed until it can be cleaned and until there are enough staff members able to return to work, the AOPC said. Other district judge offices will handle pressing matters that might arise.

Also on Monday, the AOPC said another York County Judicial Center employee has tested positive for COVID-19, and the person last worked in the building on April 21. That employee followed safety guidelines, the agency said.

Last week, AOPC spokesperson Stacey Witalec alerted media that a different judicial center employee had also tested positive and last worked there on April 9.

In both cases, contract tracing efforts have begun, and anyone who meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's definition of being potentially exposed will be notified by health officials, the AOPC said.

Since the pandemic began, the AOPC has notified the public about at least 37 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.

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