New cases of coronavirus force Queens DA office to cut capacity

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KEW GARDENS, QUEENS – Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz plans to cut staffing in person from Monday as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in New York City and the middle of it. announces that four employees have tested positive for the virus in the past 24 hours.

The Queens District Attorney’s Office will operate at 25% capacity starting November 23, with new hours to be determined by executive staff and office managers, according to an internal email reviewed by Patch.Katz, who faced her own episode of COVID-19 in March, had ordered staff members to return to work in person in October.

“Due to the increase in cases across the city, DA Katz believes it is prudent to stay ahead of the curve and cut our in-person staff to half to 25% of occupancy capacity,” said writes the chief of staff, Camille Chin-Kee-Fatt. in an email Monday to employees of the prosecutor’s office.

“This reduced in-person plan will be in effect until the end of the year and will be reviewed at the start of the year. “

According to the email, four employees have tested positive for the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and those who have been “directly” exposed have been notified of the quarantine.

The email did not reveal where the employees worked; Queens District Attorney’s Office staff work from four offices in Kew Gardens.

Patch has reached out to a spokesperson for the Queens District Attorney’s Office for comment and will update this story if a response is received.

The New York Office of the Judiciary has suspended new jury trials and grand jury proceedings from Friday, just a day after the start of Queens’ first criminal jury trial in months, Queens reported Daily Eagle.

An employee of the District Attorney’s Office who was in the central jury room at Queens Borough Hall on Friday then tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Office of Courts Administration webpage alerting the public to COVID cases -19.

The previous week, a prosecutor at the Queens Boulevard courthouse, in an area where defendants plead felony charges, ended up testing positive for the virus, Patch previously reported.

This is a developing story. Refresh for updates.

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