The Iowa Supreme Court has issued an order to provide Iowans more information regarding the policies and COVID-19 safety measures that will be in place when jury trials resume in the fall. A larger pool of prospective jurors will be summonsed for a trial than before March and they will be mailed earlier. The larger jury pool is in anticipation of prospective jurors requesting deferrals because they are showing symptoms of COVID-19, are in a high-risk group, or are caring for someone in a high-risk group. Deferrals may be granted for up to one year. There will also be fewer simultaneous jury trials scheduled to accommodate social distancing.
Prospective jurors will be provided face coverings and everyone in court-controlled areas will be required to wear a face covering and keep six feet of distance from others. Some courts may consider virtual jury selection with people participating remotely by video conference.
Once a trial begins, only a few jurors will be in the jury box and the rest will sit throughout the courtroom. Anyone who speaks during the trial will wear a face shield enabling full view of the face. Also, appropriate physical distancing and all members of the jury will be required to wear a transparent face shield during deliberations.